Toxicology: Season's Warnings

Christmas has hazards as well as joys, and some of them are subtle poisons, says the National Safety Council. One old wives' tale holds that a tea brewed of mistletoe leaves or berries* is good for the circulation. Far from it, says the council:the tea can ruin even an adult's circulation to the point of killing him. A likelier danger from the floral decorations of a contemporary Christmas is that a youngster will pull off and chew one of the pretty, pointed green leaves of a poinsettia plant. These contain an acrid juice that can also...

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