Hemlock is native to Europe and western Asia and was introduced into North America as an ornamental plant. It is frequently found in the US and southern Canada. Hemlock typically grows along streams or rivers, and near fences, roadsides, ditches, abandoned construction sites, pastures, crops, and fields. Some people have been poisoned by hemlock after confusing it for harmless plants. Accidental poisonings have occurred when people mistook the plant for parsnip, parsley, wild celery, or anise.
Despite serious safety concerns, hemlock is used for bronchitis, whooping cough, asthma, arthritis, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
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