Scientific Noun: Daphne gnidium L.


Daniel Martínez Bou

Family: Daphne family - Thymelaeaceae
Habitat: Mediterranean Europe and middle east. By the Mediterranean woods, shrubs and by the walls of cultivated lands.
Poisons: Mezerein and daphnetoxin.
Active parts: The whole plant, especially the fruits.

Uses : Traditionally it has been used as a drastic purgative to treat constipation, specially its bark dried to be powdered. Externally , applied in the manner of plasters, to get rid of furuncles or for drying wounds. Even to kill hair lice or ticks in animals.

Considering it very poisonous, it is not advisable its use in any of the home preparations mentioned above.

It particularly attracts partridges and hens, which eat its fruits with a great devotion


Toxicity : Extreme.

Symptoms: Used internally, it produces a violent irritation of the intestinal mucosas of the digestive tract, which is clearly shown as vomiting, sometimes containing blood, heartburn, headache, vertigo, reduction of heart beat, up to the point of causing death, especially with the ingestion of its fruits that are particularly toxic for children. Similar symptoms are produced when animals eat its fruits, bark or leaves. It has a percentage of mortality of about a 30 %.

When applying plasters on the affected part of the skin, it produces very painful blisters, so it would be better to use another treatments.

Medical treatment : Administration of vomitives, gastric lavage and dermatitis therapy.