my husband is convinced that tomato plants are poisonous. Is he right or just crazy?
- Parercut FaintLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
The leaves of the tomato ARE poisonous - the offending chemical is an alkyloid called Tomatine.
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- Charlie SLv 61 decade ago
When tomatos first became known, everyone thought they were toxic. It was the lower classes that ate and enjoyed them (and probably chuckled at their well healed friends).
The confusion came about because the tomato plant is a relative of the nightshade, also referred to a deadly nightshade, a favorite of poisoners in the middle ages, and right up to the 1900's. Nightshade contains belladonna, which is toxic, but in small amounts, has some medicinal uses.
The tomato fruit is not toxic, and tomatine , which is contained in the stems and leaves, is not exceptionally toxic, only being dangerous when refined into it's pure form, tomatin.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family, and the leaves and stems are quite poisonous. If you rub a tomato leaf between your fingers, the sharp, "bitter" odor you smell is the poisonous alkaloids it produces. Potatoes, peppers, and other well-known plants also produce these; one of the best-known is belladonna, which is a source of atropine. Of course, the fruit is completely harmless. In that way, animals are discouraged from eating the PLANT (so it survives), but can safely eat the fruit, which contains seeds. Animals excrete the seeds and thus spread them, so that also benefits the survival of the species.
Stay away from the green parts of the plant, and you'll be fine :-)
- IsadoraLv 61 decade ago
Once upon a time in a land far, far away.............Well once, tomatoes were considered poisonous, but that was hundreds of years ago, and people have learned otherwise. But since the plant is a member of the nightshade family, all other parts of it are poisonous. Only the fruit is edible, and good for you too.. Here is a link explaining the history of tomatoes and why they were considered inedible. A fun read.
- SptfyrLv 71 decade ago
Tomato plants are members of the deadly nightshade family and are poisonous, but the fruit is not. As long as you don't eat a leaf or stem you are fine. Strange how a plant can be deadly, but the fruit is very nutritious. So, yea, your husband is correct.
- MuschiLv 71 decade ago
The tomato plant contains Solanine that is mostly harmful to cats. You need a VERY high concentration of Solanine to poison yourself.
- 'Er indoors!!Lv 61 decade ago
He's right. The tomato plant is related to the potato plant, both have poisonous leaves and foliage.