Are rhubarb leaves toxic?


Rhubarb leaves are toxic and humans should never ingest them. The stems are safe to eat.

Symptoms caused by rhubarb leaf ingestion

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health symptoms can include:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Burning in the mouth
  • Burning in the throat
  • Coma
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye pain
  • Kidney stones
  • Nausea
  • Red-colored urine
  • Seizures
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Serious poisonings can result in kidney failure. Deaths have been reported, but are rare.

Severity of symptoms

The severity of symptoms caused by consuming rhubarb is determined by:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • The variety of rhubarb
  • How long it was swallowed before treatment
  • Amount swallowed.

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