Friday's Urban Legend: False
From 6 Medical Myths Debunked For Christmas.
Dr. Vreeman and Dr. Carroll found that the largest study of poinsettia "toxicity" to date involved an analysis of 849,575 plant exposures reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. None of the 22,793 poinsettia cases revealed significant poisoning. No one died from poinsettia exposures or ingestions, and more than 96 percent did not even require treatment in a health care facility. Another study, looking at poinsettia ingestion by rats, could not find a toxic amount of poinsettia, even at doses which would be the human equivalent of consuming 500-600 poinsettia leaves or a pound and a half of the plant's sap. Dr. Vreeman cautions, though, that you should always call a poison control center if someone eats a plant not intended for consumption.