What is Burning Bush Poison? How To Get Rid Of The Plant

Burning bush poisoning refers to the toxic effects of consuming or coming into contact with the sap or leaves of the Burning bush or Euonymus alatus plant. Burning bush is a popular ornamental shrub that is commonly found in gardens and landscapes. However, it is important to note that this plant is toxic and can cause serious health problems when ingested or touched.

Symptoms of Burning bush poisoning can vary depending on the extent of exposure and the sensitivity of the individual. Ingestion of the plant’s sap or leaves can cause mild to severe symptoms like vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, muscle weakness, cardiac arrhythmias, and even seizures. In severe cases, it can lead to respiratory distress, convulsions, and death.

The toxic effects of Euonymus alatus are primarily due to a group of toxins called cardiac glycosides, which are found in high concentrations in the plant’s leaves and stems. These toxins can affect the heart’s function and interfere with the body’s electrolyte balance, leading to cardiac arrhythmias and other serious health problems.

In addition to ingestion, contact with the plant’s sap or leaves can also cause skin irritation, rash, and blistering. The plant’s toxic effects are not limited to humans; it can also be harmful to pets like cats and dogs if ingested.

Preventing Burning bush poisoning is essential for ensuring safety. It is best to avoid growing this plant in home yards or gardens, especially if there are children or pets present. If you have this plant, it is essential to keep it away from the reach of children and pets.

In case of accidental ingestion or contact with Burning bush, seek medical attention immediately. Treatment options may include symptom management, supportive care, and decontamination measures like gastric lavage and activated charcoal administration.



1. Wear Protective Gear: Wear gloves, long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes to protect your skin from the thorns of the burning bush.

2. Dig around the Base: Use a shovel or a spade to dig around the base of the burning bush, creating a trench about a foot deep around the bush. This will loosen the roots and make the bush easier to pull out.

3. Prune the Bush: Use pruning shears to cut back the branches of the burning bush. This will make it easier to remove the roots and reduce the weight of the bush.

4. Remove the Roots: Use a shovel or a grub hoe to dig up the root ball of the burning bush. Start from the edges of the trench and work your way inward, prying the root ball loose as you go.

5. Dispose of the Plant Material: Remove the burning bush from the site, and dispose of it properly. Avoid composting the plant, as it may spread to other parts of your yard.

6. Fill the Hole: Fill the hole left by the burning bush with soil, and pack it down firmly to prevent settling.

7. Monitor the Area: Keep an eye on the area where the burning bush was removed to ensure no additional plants or shoots are growing back.

In conclusion, Burning bush poisoning is a serious health concern that can cause severe symptoms and even death. Awareness, prevention measures, and prompt medical attention are crucial for minimizing the risk of toxicity associated with this plant.