In Breaking Bad, does Lydia still have any chance to recover after being poisoned by a cup of tea with ricin in it? Is there no way she can survive this? I'm not sure, but I think Brock was able to recover from it somehow.

  • 6
    Brock wasn't poisoned by ricin, it was Lily of the Valley. Great question though, I also want to know the answer.
    – user6293
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 6:06

2 Answers 2


According to Wikipedia: "Oral exposure to ricin is far less toxic [than injection or inhalation]...By ingestion, the pathology of ricin is largely restricted to the gastrointestinal tract where it may cause mucosal injuries; with appropriate treatment, most patients will make a full recovery." So while this was a nicely creepy bit of plotting, it certainly seems possible that Lydia's real-world chances of survival would be significantly better than we're meant to infer.

  • 7
    You're right in that she could seek treatment and likely live, but that's the whole point: she'd have to actively seek treatment. Recall a few seasons ago when Jesse told Andrea that he thought Brock had been poisoned with ricin, and the investigation that launched. Walt knew full well that if Lydia were to seek treatment, she'd have to deal with FBI agents asking her how she came to ingest ricin, which might lead to further investigations revealing her dealings with him, which would send her to prison, a place he knew she would want to avoid . . . at all costs.
    – MattD
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 12:38

I totally agree with MattD comment. Even if she managed to survive ricin ingestion, she is doomed. Jack and his crews are dead, it's just matter of time for police to get Lydia in custody. Remember, she was already a suspect in Gus Fring case.

Also several important points:

  • At least 36 hours had passed after the ingestion. Lydia had already suffered the effects of ricin. I seriously doubt in this stage even appropriate treatment can cure Lydia.
  • From wikipedia:

    Oral exposure to ricin is far less toxic and a lethal dose can be up to 30–40 milligrams per kilogram.

    Let's assume Lydia's weight is around 55 kg. So she needs (0.04*55)grams = 2.2 grams. I believe Walt had way more than 2.0 grams ricin. So the dose would be more lethal.

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