Water hemlock grows in marshy, swampy areas of meadows; and along banks of streams, pools, and rivers. Accidental poisonings usually occur when water hemlock is mistaken for edible plants such as artichokes, celery, sweet potatoes, sweet anise, or wild parsnip.
Even though water hemlock is extremely poisonous, it is used as a medicine for migraine headaches, painful menstruation, and worms in the intestines.
Some people apply water hemlock directly to the skin for redness and swelling (inflammation).
Safety Safety definitions
Special Precautions & Warnings:It is UNSAFE for anyone to use water hemlock, but some people have extra reasons to avoid use.
Children: Use of water hemlock is UNSAFE and can be fatal, especially in children. Children can be poisoned by even small amounts of water hemlock. Some children have died after just using hollow water hemlock stems as peashooters, flutes, or whistles; or rubbing the plant on their skin.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Use of water hemlock is UNSAFE and can be fatal for both the mother and her unborn child.
- Migraine headaches.
- Painful menstrual periods.
- Intestinal worms.
- Skin redness and swelling (inflammation), when applied to the affected area.
- Other conditions.
Dosing & administration
Interactions with pharmaceuticals
Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Water hemlock might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking water hemlock might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.