10 Poisonous Berries to Beware Of

Not every berry is benign. Some will cause mild illness, while others can elicit severe reactions. Even berries that look tempting may be toxic, so it pays to know your stuff.

Luckily, I’m here to help you learn. Read on to discover 10 poisonous berries to avoid at all costs, so you can forage confidently and enjoy the fruits of your labor safely.


Eating just a few can cause unpleasant symptoms like stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you eat a lot or are particularly susceptible, you might experience dangerously low blood pressure, seizures, fainting, or even death.

Woodbine Berries

The leaves and berries contain oxalate crystals that irritate the mouth, lips, nose, and throat. They may produce more drastic symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.

Jerusalem Cherries

They contain solanocapsine, a toxin that can cause severe gastrointestinal distress and affect the central nervous system. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, with more severe cases leading to hallucinations, shock, paralysis, hypothermia, and death.

Yew Berries

Yew seeds contain taxine compounds, which can potentially be fatal. You won’t just get a tummy ache from eating them. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, coma, seizures, rapid vital decline, and even death in some cases.

Mistletoe Berries

They look pretty tasty if you’re lost in the cold, but eating them will result in nausea and vomiting. You could also experience a more serious reaction, including blurred vision, severe bradycardia, hallucinations, and even miscarriage.

Holly Berries

They contain saponin, a poison that can cause nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping. In rare cases, people have reported drowsiness, hyperthermia, and severe skin reactions.

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