O.A. Mutti
To give the medicinal plant intoxication diagnosis is one of the most difficult tasks, either for the physician not skilled in Toxicology or for the professional specialized in that branch of Medicine. It is the time when the doctor-patient relationship is at stake more than ever.

Respect for the beliefs, and the in-depth knowledge of the customs of a community by the physician, is one of the pillars of that relationship. This results in what we, the toxicologists, call Aimed History Taking.

Of the two thousand consultations we have every month, half of them refer to intoxication in children, in the first place caused by tranquilizers; second, by aspirin, and in the third place, by home products (hydrocarbons, pesticides, detergents, etc.).

Medicinal plants account for 0.1% to 1.3%; “anís estrellado” (Illicium verum) ranks first; “paico” (Chenopodium ambrosioides) is second, and “yerba de pollo” (Alternanthera pungens) ranks third.

The toxicologist needs other disciplines: anthropology, botany, agronomy, ethnobotany, mycology, and chemistry that identify the material and inform about uses and active principles.

Lately, the importation of “dietary supplements” into the country, and the Asian immigration, with its drugs, plus the language barrier, led us towards interdisciplinary research work so that we can give an adequate diagnosis.

Mutti, O.A. (1999). INTOXICATION BY MEDICINAL PLANTS (M.P.). Acta Hortic. 501, 323-328
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1999.501.50
medicinal plants, intoxication, Argentina

Acta Horticulturae