My wife and daughter ate a bunch of these fruits. Are they safe? Daughter puked and wife has diarrhoea.

bad fruit


She took me to the tree. It isn’t laurel. It is this:

enter image description here

Should I be more concerned? Ambulance maybe?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • What part of the world are you in? – kevinsky Sep 3 '19 at 16:28
  • UK. Sorry I should have mentioned – J86 Sep 3 '19 at 16:28
  • J86, is your family ok? We hope that everything turned out well in the end? But we’d appreciate an update...? – Stephie Sep 18 '19 at 16:33
  • All well thank you :) After 6 hours in A&E they told us to go home and not do it again:) – J86 Sep 18 '19 at 16:41

This looks poisonous, if your wife and daughter still feel sick of it, please go find some medical help immediately. This is probably Prunus laurocerasus, which is indeed toxic.

| improve this answer | |
  • Update with new photo. We’re going to A&E – J86 Sep 3 '19 at 17:27
  • The second photo is Elder berry (Sambucus nigra), also mildly poisonous when not ripe. – benn Sep 3 '19 at 17:47
  • Thank you, we’re now waiting our turn at the A&E – J86 Sep 3 '19 at 18:09
  • 4
    All parts of this plant (Prunus laurocerasus) are toxic, except the flesh of the berries - if the seeds inside the fruits are not chewed, its less toxic, but chewing the berries and seeds inside releases cyanide into the body. Note the leaves are more toxic than the berries. PLEASE teach your child not to eat any berries from anything at all without ensuring they are edible by asking an adult. Although your wife sounds like she needs to learn that too....basic rule is, if you're not sure, don't eat, because over 50% of plants growing in ordinary gardens are toxic if ingested – Bamboo Sep 3 '19 at 18:29
  • 1
    @Bamboo thanks, yep wife too :) – J86 Sep 3 '19 at 18:32

Under no circumstances can or should a post here be a substitute for qualified on-site medical advice. If any symptoms of poisoning are observed, contact your local healthcare provider.

After the update:

This is elderberry (Sambucus nigra). The berries contain low doses of cyanogenic glycosides (which produce prussic acid) and lectins.

Typical symptoms of raw elderberry consumption are queasiness and vomiting, GI issues, stomach cramps and diarrhea, mostly caused by the lectins. The larger the dose and the more sensitive the consumer, the worse the symptoms. If the symptoms are treated, no permanent damage is to be expected. The amount of prussic acid in the berries is comparatively low, some sources give 200 berries per kg of body weight as uncritical. These numbers should be treated as reference only, as with all plants, contents can vary both during the season and between individual plants. Likewise, children and adults with weaker constitution will tolerate less.

Note that cooking destroys the critical compounds, making the berries safe for human consumption (not to mention delicious).

| improve this answer | |
  • Interesting, thank you :) – J86 Sep 3 '19 at 18:56
  • @J86 I will not repeat the “never eat what you don’t know” of others - I think you all learned that lesson today. Keeping my fingers crossed for your wife and child. – Stephie Sep 3 '19 at 19:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.