A Jack-in-the-pulpit is a plant belonging to the species Arisaema triphyllum. This article describes poisoning caused by eating parts of this plant. The roots are the most dangerous part of the plant.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Arisaema triphyllum poisoning; Bog onion poisoning; Brown dragon poisoning; Indian turnip poisoning; Wake robin poisoning; Wild turnip poisoning
Jack-in-the-pulpit plants are found in North America in wetlands and moist, wooded areas.
Burning in mouth and throat
Nausea and vomiting
Swelling of mouth and tongue
Blistering and swelling in the mouth may be severe enough to prevent normal speaking and swallowing.
Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.
Wipe out the mouth with a cold, wet cloth. Immediately give the person milk to drink, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. Do NOT give milk if the person is having symptoms (such as vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness) that make it hard to swallow.
Wash the skin with water. If the plant material touched the eyes, rinse the eyes with water.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
Patient's age, weight, and condition
Name of the plant
Time it was swallowed
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Wearing gloves, place the plant in a container and take it with you to the hospital, if possible.
Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.