The State Forests warn against a plant that grows almost everywhere in Poland. It was once considered medicinal, but today it is known to be highly toxic and carcinogenic. Old man Jacob (Jacobaea vulgaris) – what is it, what does it look like and where does the poisonous plant occur?
The State Forests warn: this plant known in Poland is highly toxic
The State Forests warn against a common plant in Poland known as Starzec jakubek (Jacobaea vulgaris). It was once believed that the old man Jakub is a medicinal plant helpful in hypertension or liver disease. It was used for strong colic, skin diseases, pimples and difficult to heal wounds. Today, however, it is known that the plant is highly poisonous. It is harmful not only when it is fresh, but also when it is already dried or withered.
Old man Jakub is toxic and carcinogenic.
Old man jakubek contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are mutagenic, carcinogenic and hepatotoxic. State Forests warn: old man Jakub is a serious threat to health. This plant with yellow flowers has a strong toxic effect, both fresh and dried.
State Forests adhere to: old man Jakub is highly toxic both fresh and dried!
Old man Jakub is not only dangerous to people. It is also a deadly threat to animals – horses, dogs or cats.
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Old man jakubek (Jacobaea vulgaris) – what is it?
Old man Jacob (Jacobaea vulgaris) is a very common plant. It grows in meadows, by roads, on the edges of fields and forests and in ditches.
– Old man Jakub has a high, characteristic stem, reaching up to 120 cm in height. The stalk branches to form long or woolly hairy long shoots. The leaves are lyrical and feathery, and their sections protrude from the stems almost at a right angle. The higher they are, the smaller they are. At the very top of the stem there is a magnificent, loose and spreading inflorescence. It consists of yellow flowers gathered in sub-balconies. Baskets 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter are composed of uvula flowers, flat spread and appearing on the edge of the inflorescence, and tubular flowers, densely packed inside. This plant blooms from June to September. Soon after flowering, silky white hair appears – we read on the official site of the State Forests.
According to the State Forests, in 1920 the first signals appeared regarding the harmfulness of Jakub's old man on the liver. In the 1950s, it was found that these plants may contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids – substances that can cause cancer to develop. In addition, it was also confirmed that "flower healing" can actually cause liver problems.
Read the State Forests warning at lasy.gov.pl CLICK HERE