Is the Privet Toxic?

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Common privet is also known as privet, Amur and wax-leaf and is a member of the Oleaceae family. This plant has toxic principles and causes symptoms of toxicity in humans and animals.

Human Potential

Privet is commonly used as an ornamental shrub or hedge. Humans who ingest the flowers, leaves or berries of this shrub can exhibit mild symptoms of toxicity. The most common symptoms associated with the ingestion of privet are diarrhoea and vomiting. Stomach upset can linger for 48 to 72 hours.

Animal Potential

Privet is toxic to cats, dogs and horses, states the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The most common symptom that occurs when animals ingest privet is stomach upset. Other symptoms include loss of coordination and increased heart rate. Severe cases of privet poisoning have resulted in the death of some animals, although it is rare.


Teach your children the dangers of plant ingestion and keep your animals away from poisonous plants. Eliminating poisonous plants from your garden or yard is often the best way to avoid accidental ingestion. Humans or animals who ingest privet should visit their doctor or veterinarian for a full evaluation.

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