Top Ten Plants NOT to Use as Toilet Paper - Moosejaw

Top Ten Plants Not to Use as Toilet Paper

When you're out of toilet paper and time is a factor, here is a little list that might help you evaluate your options. Without getting too graphic, I'll go over some of the plants that you should absolutely avoid if you find yourself in this tricky situation. This isn't a definitive guide on how to identify these plants, just an idea of what dangers are lurking out there.

No. Not the villian from Batman.

10 - Poison Ivy

Ugh. There’s nothing more unsettling than somebody spotting poison ivy at a campsite which you’ve been walking around with bare feet. I hate poison ivy. I’ll probably say “ugh” and “I hate ___” for every plant on this list. Poison ivy is something every outdoorsy person should learn to identify and should DEFINITELY NOT grab if you need an emergency wipe.

Location: North America, Asia.
Symptoms: Painful itchy rashes and blisters.

Poison Hemlock.

9 - Poison Hemlock

Ugh. Poison hemlock is more of an ingestion risk than a touch risk, but should still be avoided nonetheless. Looking like some dumb flowery fern, you can often tell this plant by its little white clusters of flowers and red splotched stem. For wiping purposes, this one wouldn't work that well even if it were safe.

Location: North America, Europe.
Symptoms: Bad stuff with your central nervous system.

Poison Oak

8 - Poison Oak

Here we go again with the poisons. I hate this plant. Poison oak follows the ol' "leaves of three, let it be" rule. The leaves are often glossy as they're covered in that evil toxic oil and the stem has stupid little tiny hairs/thorns. This little bastard can leave you with a mind-numbingly painful rash and blisters that can last for weeks. If there were a button I could press to delete these things off the face of the earth, I'd have pressed it long ago.

Location: Western United States.
Symptoms: Painful itchy rashes and blisters.

Giant Hogweed.

7 - Giant Hogweed

Ugh. I hate giant hogweed. Original found in Asia, this living pile of trash has recently spread to North America and other countries. I assume this plant was spread around the world by some crappy B-list super villain. Darkseed or Plantor or something equally stupid.

Location: Asia, New Zealand, Europe, United States, Canada
Symptoms: Severe blistering, burns and lasting scars.


6 - Cactus

Lol, a cactus. Don't wipe with a cactus.

Location: Deserts. Mainly in North America, South America, Africa
Symptoms: Riddled with cactus spines

Just a big mess of string.

5 - Poison Sumac

If you've learned anything so far on this list, it should be that if a plant's name starts with the word "Poison" you should steer clear. Look at this stupid plant. Nice parallel rows of leaves on either side of the stem, you dummy. Also, it's supposed to just have one leaf at the end of the stem, but this one pictured has like 1.5. C'mon nature, get it together. All parts of this despicable plant have the resin that causes skin irritation, worse than poison ivy and poison oak. So keep away.

Location: Southern United States
Symptoms: Painful skin swellings and eruptions

Stinging Nettle.

4 - Stinging Nettle

I hate this plant so much. Its loaded up with stingy hairs which inject you with all kinds of irritating stuff. When it's time to wipe, steer clear of the serrated leaves and prickly stem of this silent assassin. Whenever I hear about a forest fire, I can't help but giggle at the thought of these things burning in agony.

Location: Western North America, Europe, Asia, northern Africa
Symptoms: Painful sting, tingling, tickling, numbness and/or burning


3 - Monkshood

So beautiful, yet so deadly... like a peacock with a rifle. I hate this plant. When you head off the trail to do your business, this asshole might not look too intimidating. Although way more dangerous if ingested, it is still not safe to handle without gloves. In fact, some gardener died from brushing up against this plant a few years ago. Not cool, plant.

Location: Mountainous parts of the northern hemisphere
Symptoms: Tingling, numbness, heart issues


2 - Gympie-gympie

Ugh, this thing. Reading about this plant is like reading horror stories. Its tiny stinging hairs break off in your skin and emit terrible neurotoxins which can bring intense pain for weeks or months or even years. Animals have been known to commit suicide after a brush with this plant. Soooo... keep it away from your butt. Maybe just stay out of Australia altogether.

Location: Northeast Australia
Symptoms: Intense pain for days, weeks, months, years, eternity


1 - Houseplants

C'mon now. Never use a houseplant as toilet paper. Just do a better job at keeping toilet paper on hand.

Location: In your house
Symptoms: Feelings of remorse and a permeating depression

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