Spatulate-leaved Heliotrope (Common name)

General poisoning notes:

Spatulate-leaved heliotrope (Heliotropium curassavicum) is a native herb found in southern parts of western Canada. This plant contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids. It and other members of the genus (Heliotropium species) are used in herbal teas and have been used in several parts of the world for medicinal reasons. Over consumption of such teas may cause veno-occlusive disease of the liver (Budd-Chiari syndrome), with hepatic vein thrombosis (Lampe and McCann 1985, Huxtable 1989).

References:

  • Huxtable, R. J. 1989. Human health implications of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and herbs containing them. Pages 41-86 in Cheeke, P. R., ed. Toxicants of plant origin. Vol. I. Alkaloids. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., USA. 335 pp.
  • Lampe, K. F., McCann, M. A. 1985. AMA Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. American Medical Assoc. Chicago, Ill., USA. 432 pp.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Heliotropium curassavicum L.
Vernacular name(s):
spatulate-leaved heliotrope
Scientific family name:
Boraginaceae
Vernacular family name:
borage

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Heliotropium curassavicum

References:

  • Agriculture Quebec. 1975. Noms des maladies des plantes du Canada/ Names of plant diseases in Canada. Quebec City, Que., Canada. 288 pp.
  • Alex, J. F., Cayouette, R., Mulligan, G. A. 1980. Common and botanical names of weeds in Canada/Noms populaire et scientifiques des plantes nuisibles du Canada. Revised. Agric. Can. Publ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada. 132 pp.
  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Scoggan, H. J. 1978, 1979. The flora of Canada. Nat. Mus. Nat. Sci. (Ottawa) Publ. Bot. 7(1)-7(4). 1711 pp.
  • Van Wijk, H. L. 1911. A dictionary of plant names. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands. 1444 pp.
  • Victorin, M. 1964. Flore Laurentienne. 2nd ed. Univ. Montreal, Montreal, Que., Canada. 952 pp.

Geographic Information

  • Alberta
  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan

References:

  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Boivin, B. 1966, 1967. Énumération des plantes du Canada. Provencheria 6. Nat. Can. (Que.) 93: 253-274; 371-437; 583-646; 989-1063. 94: 131-157; 471-528; 625-655.

Image or illustration

Images: spatulate-leaved heliotrope - Google Search

Toxic parts:

  • leaves

References:

  • Huxtable, R. J. 1989. Human health implications of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and herbs containing them. Pages 41-86 in Cheeke, P. R., ed. Toxicants of plant origin. Vol. I. Alkaloids. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., USA. 335 pp.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

The heliotropes contain hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids of the nonacyclic diester type. These alkaloids can cause veno-occlusive disease (Huxtable 1989).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • unknown chemical

References:

  • Huxtable, R. J. 1989. Human health implications of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and herbs containing them. Pages 41-86 in Cheeke, P. R., ed. Toxicants of plant origin. Vol. I. Alkaloids. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., USA. 335 pp.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.

Humans

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Symptoms of over-consumption of these plants may result in veno-occlusive disease of the liver. This is accompanied by abdominal pain and ascites. Cirrhosis of the liver can result. Other results are hepatomegaly and splenomegaly. Death may result. There is no specific treatment for toxin-induced hepatic veno-occlusive disease (Lampe and McCann 1985, Huxtable 1989).

References:

  • Huxtable, R. J. 1989. Human health implications of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and herbs containing them. Pages 41-86 in Cheeke, P. R., ed. Toxicants of plant origin. Vol. I. Alkaloids. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., USA. 335 pp.
  • Lampe, K. F., McCann, M. A. 1985. AMA Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. American Medical Assoc. Chicago, Ill., USA. 432 pp.

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