Poinsettias bring a pop of festive color to the holidays. For many, they also bring a sense of dread that outweighs the cheer. The dread is motivated by a belief that poinsettias are deadly if they’re eaten by humans or animals.
If you or a child eat some leaves, meaning more than two or three, you’re likely to become sick, with nausea and vomiting. But the same can be said if you have more than two or three rounds of your uncle’s special eggnog. But unlike the eggnog, the leaves of a poinsettia are decidedly bitter, so you’d have to be pretty determined to eat a whole leaf, let alone multiple leaves.
As for your pets, they’re likely to have the same symptoms if they ingest a few leaves, and they may also experience symptoms like, “lip-licking, diarrhea, drooling,” according to Chemicals in News.
So, in short, poinsettias may make you sick, but they’re not going to kill you.