Poisoning caused by consumption of plant material from the Yew plant.

Poisonous Ingredient  

  • taxine

Where Found 

  • various species of the Yew plant  
  • poison contained in most parts of the Yew plant (wood, bark, leaves, seeds)

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole       o trembling       o muscle weakness       o rapid collapse       o convulsions  
  • respiratory       o difficulty breathing  
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o dilated pupils       o cyanotic(blue) lips  
  • gastrointestinal       o diarrhea       o nausea       o abdominal pain       o vomiting  
  • heart and blood vessels       o rapid heartbeat       o irregular heartbeat  
  • nervous system       o coma       o dizziness       o headache

Home Treatment 
Contact Poison Control Center for appropriate treatment.

Before Calling Emergency 
Determine the following information:

  • the patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • the name of the plant and the parts swallowed  
  • the time it was swallowed  
  • the amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number 
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Bring plant with you to the emergency room for identification.

What to expect at the emergency room 
Some or all of the following procedures may be performed on the patient:

  • Induce vomiting.  
  • Use gastric lavage.  
  • Activated charcoal.  
  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis) 
Deaths have occurred. The red berry capsule is not toxic.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 8, 2012
by Brenda A. Kuper, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.