FACEBOOK — A so-called dangerous house plant ‘Dumb Cane’ making noise on social media especially Facebook and Twitter. The Facebook community keeps passing the not-so-sure information, but in fact there is some truth behind the story.
Dumb Cane or Dieffenbachia is a type of house plant with large, colorful leaves. Poisoning can occur if you eat the leaves, stalk, or root of this plant, according to MedlinePlus Website.
The cells of the Dieffenbachia plant contain needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals called raphides. If a leaf is chewed, these crystals can cause a temporary burning sensation and erythema. In rare cases, edema of tissues exposed to the plant has been reported. Mastication and ingestion generally result in only mild symptoms.
With both children and pets, contact with dieffenbachia (typically from chewing) can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms, including oral irritation, excessive drooling, and localized swelling.
However, these effects are rarely life-threatening. In most cases, symptoms are mild, and can be successfully treated with analgesic agents, antihistamines, or medical charcoal. Gastric evacuation or lavage is “seldom” indicated. In patients with exposure to toxic plants, 70% are children younger than 5 years according to Wiki published Information.
Information about dieffenbachia poisoning published on the Medline Plus website records the following poisoning symptoms:
*Burning in mouth or throat
*Damage to cornea of the eye
*Nausea or vomiting
*Swelling in mouth or tongue