Euphorbia - that's how poisonous the milkweed family are

Euphorbia - that's how poisonous the milkweed family are

The dangers of the milkweed family

The latex-like, coagulating milk juice of the euphorbias contains so-called di- and triterpene esters in addition to other toxins. This can cause severe pain and burns, especially on the sensitive mucous membranes. If milkweed plants are cut, the fumes alone can irritate the eyes and respiratory tract. In any case, when cultivating euphorbias, pay attention to:

  • suitable protective measures for care (gloves)
  • regular and adequate room ventilation
  • the safety of young children and pets

Caring for indoor plants without panic

Despite the dangerous constituents of euphorbias, they do not necessarily have to be banned from the windowsill. On closer inspection, many popular and attractive houseplants are harmful to health when consumed or even when touched. However, you should have a certain sensitivity in handling the plants in order to be able to enjoy their exotic beauty safely.


If you want to be on the safe side, you should look for alternatives to spit palm and triangular milkweed when choosing house plants. Finally, some types of milkweed are even suspected of being able to promote the development of cancerous tumors.