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  #1  
Old Thursday 23rd August 2012, 10:42
arym arym is offline  
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Ragwort

Hello there,
We have just got ourselves an allotment and are in the process of clearing it of weeds. Unfortunately, both of us have had a severe reaction to the weeds which we now realise is ragwort. After reading about the dangers of ragwort we are very worried as one listed danger was damage to the liver.
Can anybody reassure us that we will be okay?! At the moment we are covered in sore blistered spots. My daughter has had a particularly nasty reaction on her neck which is causing her severe pain. She is taking antibiotics for this at the moment as the doctor suspected it was a bad insect bite!
What bad luck! Someone please tell us we will be alright!
Thank you.
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  #2  
Old Thursday 23rd August 2012, 11:12
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Kits Kits is offline  
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Welcome to Gardener's Forum from Admin and the Moderators, arym.

I am sorry to hear of your reactions to ragwort; they sound very painful. It might be an idea to go back to the doctors to tell him that it is a reaction to ragwort as the treatment could change. I hasten to add that I have no medical qualifications.
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  #3  
Old Thursday 23rd August 2012, 13:47
d.steeley d.steeley is offline  
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Hi arym, sorry to hear of your problems. There seems to be some doubt about the ability of Ragwort to harm humans through eating it or touching it. I wonder if there were any other weeds present that may not have been noticed because of the Ragwort cover? Not everyones cup of tea but I would probably try to clear the allotment by using a herbicide like Glysophate in the spring. If weed growth is too high to spray effectively, then I would strim it or use a rotary mower to cut it right down and bin or burn it, making sure I was suitably dressed for the operation. Are you renting from a council or allotment association? I would have thought that if so the 'landlords' should clear the site of weeds before handing it over to you. I have included a few links to sites that may be of interest (you may already have seen these of course). These cover the best ways to deal with Ragwort, the potential effects of Ragwort on humans and some other possible plants that may cause problems to humans.

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http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/...e.aspx?pid=299
http://www.ragwortfacts.com/ragwort-humans.html
http://www.ragwortfacts.com/ragwort-...in-humans.html
http://www.ragwortfacts.com/ragwort-...ng-humans.html
http://www.rhs.org.uk/Media/PDFs/Advice/PlantHazards
http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/...e.aspx?pid=458
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Old Saturday 25th August 2012, 10:03
jpscloud jpscloud is offline  
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Hi, just to add that ragwort is lethal to horses, so should be disposed of very carefully if horses are nearby.
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Old Sunday 26th August 2012, 15:14
RagwortFacts RagwortFacts is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arym View Post
Hello there,
We have just got ourselves an allotment and are in the process of clearing it of weeds. Unfortunately, both of us have had a severe reaction to the weeds which we now realise is ragwort. After reading about the dangers of ragwort we are very worried as one listed danger was damage to the liver.
Can anybody reassure us that we will be okay?! At the moment we are covered in sore blistered spots. My daughter has had a particularly nasty reaction on her neck which is causing her severe pain. She is taking antibiotics for this at the moment as the doctor suspected it was a bad insect bite!
What bad luck! Someone please tell us we will be alright!
Thank you.
As someone who has studied ragwort and the unneccessary panic around it for years I can reasure you. The story that you can damage your liver by handling ragwort is a myth. It has been thoroughly debunked. Unfortunately it is still on a lot of websites. Basically it is poorly absorbed and in a non-toxic form. You have to eat it for it to be toxic. You may be allergic in general to members of the daisy family, or you may have handled something else which is actually causing the problem. It is always a good idea to wear gloves for this kind of work just for general safety.

I have written about it here.Ragwort Skin the insidious myth

Ragwort has been the subject of a campaign and there are lots of myths that have been deliberately circulated. It is poisonous to animals but poisoning is actually rather rare. The exaggerated claims were some of those tackled by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last year.

See Ragwort the sense and the nonsense for more details of the ASA complaints.
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  #6  
Old Monday 27th August 2012, 04:50
jpscloud jpscloud is offline  
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Poisoning of animals by ragwort is mercifully rare but it is important for people to be aware of it. We live in close contact with many toxic and potentially lethal plants and rarely if ever take damage from them as we are unlikely to try eating them.

However, it is quite common that people offer grass/plant material to curious horses or donkeys which may be at pasture nearby and it is for this reason I mentioned ragwort's toxicity to horses.
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  #7  
Old Friday 19th September 2014, 16:53
Vance71975 Vance71975 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arym View Post
Hello there,
We have just got ourselves an allotment and are in the process of clearing it of weeds. Unfortunately, both of us have had a severe reaction to the weeds which we now realise is ragwort. After reading about the dangers of ragwort we are very worried as one listed danger was damage to the liver.
Can anybody reassure us that we will be okay?! At the moment we are covered in sore blistered spots. My daughter has had a particularly nasty reaction on her neck which is causing her severe pain. She is taking antibiotics for this at the moment as the doctor suspected it was a bad insect bite!
What bad luck! Someone please tell us we will be alright!
Thank you.

I know this is a VERY old thread but i thought i would share some advice for dealing with weeds that works for me. I take a spray bottle and fill it with the strongest vinegar i can get here in the US that is typically 7% acid content, do not dilute it use it full strength. I go out in mid morning and spray down any weeds i want to get rid of, spraying the whole plant down like i am doing a Foilar spray. Then i pour some vinegar directly at the base of the plant normally about 2 to 4 cups of vinegar. It may take a few times, but this will normally kill all but the most acid loving of plants. It works for my garden weeds here in the US tho i could not tell you what type of weeds they are.

It may make the soil a bit acidic but that is easy to fix with some crushed oyster shell(they sell it for feeding to chickens at farm supply stores, at least here in the US they do). Just till it into the soil and it will slowly break down and buffer the pH.
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