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Who doesn't know Campanula - the bluebell? She is so lovely to look at. They come in different colors and types. The bellflower grows wild on the edges of forests, paths and meadows. They are also welcome guests in perennial beds when their blossoms transform them into a sea of blue flowers from June to August. However, rumors keep spreading that care should be taken when handling bluebells as they are poisonous. Is it just a rumor or fact?

myth or reality

The bluebell is surrounded by many ancient myths and fairy tales. Who could imagine a fairy or elf without a bluebell as a headgear? This is how these mythical creatures have been portrayed for centuries. But the fairy tale "Rapunzel" also owes its name to a bellflower, namely the Rapunzel bellflower.

An old English tale has it that if a human accidentally lingers within a ring of bluebells, they are subject to judgment by fairies and elves. You decide about life and death here. Such myths led, among other things, to the emergence of the opinion that bluebells are poisonous and should therefore be avoided at all costs. At that time, depending on their beliefs, people could not correctly interpret such things. But what exactly is it about such claims?

tip: The Rapunzel bellflower (Campanula rapunculus) was formerly grown as a vegetable. Their fleshy roots are very nutritious.

Carpathian Bellflower, Campanula carpatica


The rumor about the toxicity of the bluebell still persists today. However, so far experts have been able to no toxins detect in the plants. However, they could not clearly prove that the bluebell is generally non-toxic. The toxin content of the plants is therefore still a matter of controversy. In short, so far there is no scientific evidence of toxicity. In addition, the bluebell is not to be found in any directory for poisonous plants. It is assumed that

  • the toxicity of the plants depends on the species
  • ingredient dependent and
  • depending on the organism of the respective person


Sensitive people in particular should therefore be careful and careful when handling bluebells of any kind.

tip: Various parts of the campanula are used in naturopathy. They are considered diuretic, disinfectant and styptic.

Be careful when handling

Since the toxicity of the various species has not yet been fully clarified, careful handling of bluebells is advisable. For an adult human, bluebells themselves are not fatally poisonous. However, some things should be considered, since the toxicity is controversial

  • Keep children and babies away from bluebells
  • also do not allow cats and dogs to be around
  • Do not use bluebells as animal feed (horses, rodents, turtles)
  • Spend clippings on the compost
  • do not necessarily eat plant parts
  • small amounts are harmless, sometimes nausea occurs

tip: To avoid poisoning, it is advisable to wear gloves when tending bluebells. This can prevent skin irritation.

Campanula portenschlagiana, Dalmatian bellflower

Various species edible

In general, it is advisable not to eat any plant parts of bluebells. This is mainly true for very sensitive people and especially for children and babies.
Although the toxicity of all Campanula species has not really been clarified, some representatives of this genus are considered to be very tasty and wholesome. Edible plant parts include

  • Leaves in spring, slightly sweet taste
  • blossoms
  • shoots and stems
  • partly also roots, for example Rapunzel bellflower

The species are very popular with connoisseurs

  • Meadow Bellflower (Campanula patula)
  • Peach-leaved Bellflower (Campanula persicifolia)
  • Hanging bellflower (Campanula poscharskyana)
  • Dwarf bellflower (Campanula cochtearifolia)
  • Rapunzel bellflower (Campanula rapunculus)

The flowers are ideal as a decoration for salads and soups. Buds and flowers of the meadow bellflower have a mildly aromatic taste, similar to peas. The leaves and shoots taste mild and slightly nutty and are very suitable as an ingredient in salads.

It should be warned, however, that not all people tolerate these parts of the plant equally well. Burning and scratching of the mucous membranes can sometimes occur after consumption. In the worst case, stomach and intestinal problems occur.

First aid

Normally, the bluebell is not actually deadly poisonous to humans. However, every person who comes into contact with this plant can react differently. This can lead to skin irritation, but also to discomfort and abdominal discomfort when consumed. In such cases, the first thing to do is keep calm. Hectic action can only make the existing situation worse. The first remedial measures should then be initiated:

  • give a glass of water or tea
  • If severe symptoms persist (palpitations or shortness of breath), call or call an emergency doctor
  • secure the plant in question for the doctor

dog and cat

The first symptoms can manifest themselves in

  • Vomit
  • diarrhea
  • Tremble
  • muscle cramps
  • heavy salivation
  • dark mucous membranes

to express.

The symptoms usually appear some time after ingestion of the poison. Here, too, it is important to remain calm and to inform the vet immediately by telephone about symptoms and suspicions. He will then give instructions on first aid. However, the patient should be taken to the practice or veterinary clinic for further treatment as soon as possible. If no veterinarian is available, activated charcoal can be given, but only then. This binds the toxins to its surface. The poison can therefore not get from the intestine into the bloodstream. The administration should take place

  • 1 g of activated carbon per 1 kg of body weight
  • Mix charcoal with 5 to 10 ml of water per g of activated charcoal
  • Put the porridge in your mouth with a syringe
  • leave further treatment to the vet

tip: Those who want to ensure that children and pets do not come into contact with bluebells should ban them from the garden.

notice: Please note that this article is by no means a substitute for a doctor's visit. There is no guarantee of the correctness of medical statements.
Detailed information on first aid in the event of poisoning and important information on the poison control centers can be found here.

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