Actaea spp.-

Common name(S) Baneberry, cohosh, doll's-eyes, herb Christopher, necklaceweed, red baneberry, snakeberry, western baneberry.

Toxin(s) Unknown.

Toxic part(S) Berries and roots.

Signs Intense mucous membrane irritation and pain (which usually limits amount ingested). Salivation, vomiting (hemorrhagic), diarrhea, cramping, and abdominal pain. Renal damage is possible. CNS signs include dizziness, ataxia, confusion, apparent hallucinations, syncope, and possible convulsions.

Treatment The irritating nature of the toxin normally prohibits ingesting enough toxin to cause systemic signs. If signs are present, gastric and enteric emptying will probably already have occurred. If not, induction of emesis (p. 50) or gastric lavage (p. 52) are appropriate followed by activated charcoal. (it has not been shown scientifically that activated charcoal is effective in the treatment of Actaea spp. poisoning but will cause no harm and may help.) Appropriate fluid therapy is essential to prevent perfusion or hydration problems. Electrolyte imbalances should be corrected as needed. Renal function must be monitored to detect renal damage.