Science

Why is it so hard to say whether plants are toxic or safe?

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IAM often approached by people looking for definitive answers about plant toxicity. It seems like an area that needs urgent clarity, given that you see well-being influencers using potentially deadly, exotic flowers as decorations on smoothie bowls or online diet gurus claiming that everyday fruit and vegetables are toxic and should be eliminated from the diet. Surprisingly, however, determining whether a plant is “toxic” or not is actually quite tricky.

The first thing you need to know about toxicity is that it isn’t binary, but a sliding scale determined largely by dosage. Take alcohol, for example. A single …

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