Congress Grass ( Parthenium hysterophorus) – Static/Plant poison | Liveveda

congress grass


Parthenium hysterophorus is a species of flowering plant in the aster family. It is a common invasive species in India, Australia and parts of Africa. It invades all land including farms, pastures and roadsides.

It is also called as -

  1. Santa maria fever few
  2. White top weed
  3. congress grass

Active principles

  1. Parthenin
  2. Coronopilin


Contact with Parthenium hysterophorus causes dermatitis and respiratory malfunction in humans due to presence of toxin parthenin.

Signs and Symptoms

a) Dermatitis - following clinical features of dermatitis are seen -

  1. Erythema (reddish discolouration)
  2. Itching
  3. Fissuring and scaling
  4. Xerosis (dryness)
  5. Hyperpigmentation
  6. Vesicles and bullae formation

b) Respiratory disorders - Respiratory malfunctions may be seen due to pollen allergy.

Fatal dose


Fatal period



  1. Stomach wash
  2. topical steroid in an ointment base e.g Beclomethasone dipropionate, Bethamethasone benzoate, Clobetasol propionate, Dexamenthasone trimethyl-acetate etc.
  3. Local application of calamine lotion.
  4. Antihustamines like levocetirizine hydrochloride in dosage of 5 mg once a day.
  5. Systemic steroids such as prednisolone 5-60 mg in divided doses.

Post-mortem Apperance

Parthenium hysterophorus is generally not fatal.

Medico-legal Importance

  1. It is not commonly used for homicidal and suicidal purposes
  2. Cattle poisoning
  3. It can be used to affect crop production.

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