It’s best not to go near him at all. The smallest contact can cause allergic reactions on the body, and in the worst case even death. Fortunately, one of the most dangerous trees in the world does not exist on our continent. Hippomane mancinella – avoid them from afar.
Hippomane mancinella
Silvotherapy, or wood therapy, is to stimulate the body to self-heal by staying in the presence of trees and shrubs. A walk in the forest alone may not be enough. Touching, hugging and stroking trees is supposed to improve human mood, and appropriate species have their properties – for example, oak improves concentration and blood circulation, fir cures inflammation, and rowanberry positively influences appetite and develops intuition. However, there are some species that should be avoided like a fire. Hippomane Mancinella is one of them, and at the same time the most dangerous.
The Manchineel tree, or its Spanish equivalent “manzanilla de la muerte”, means “death apples”. This refers to the fact that it is one of the most poisonous trees in the world. It is a flowering species belonging to the wolf-milk family, which is found mainly in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Florida, Central America and the northern part of South America. The Death Tree, with its grey bark and shiny green leaves, can reach a height of 15 metres. Its branches bear green or green-yellow fruit that looks like apples. They are usually found near the seaside beaches – due to their shape they are ideal as natural screens, while their roots stabilize the sand, thus preventing beach erosion.

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