Jatropha curcas poisoning in children in western Kenya – a case report

  • N.A. Mukungu
  • C.K. Maitai
  • K.A. Sinei
  • P.C. Mutai
  • D.S.B. Ongarora
  • E.W. Karumi
Keywords: Jatropha curcas, poisoning, plant poisoning, curcin


A case of Jatropha poisoning in children in Kakamega Division, Kenya is reported. A literature review showed that this plant has caused poisoning in children in other countries. The circumstances leading to poisoning, time to onset of symptoms and the clinical manifestation of poisoning in all cases reported in literature as well as in the present case report show a striking similarity. In all cases, gastrointestinal disturbance (vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhoea) were prominent and these were attributed to curcin a toxalbumin present in the seeds of Jatropha curcas. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance is a consequence of vomiting and diarrhoea. Supportive treatment leads to full recovery, usually within 24 hours.

Keywords:  Jatropha curcas, poisoning, plant poisoning, curcin


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eISSN: 1026-552X