Plants one of the most beautiful part of nature. But even the prettiest of things can be the most fatally dangerous. A lot has been said about how important plants are to life. They are indeed the building block to life being the vital source of oxygen which we breathe. That’s asides their ornamental purposes adding beauty to our surroundings.
However, green isn’t always healthy and the same plants that creates life could be responsible for taking it in the most painful of ways. So many plants are naturally toxic and can be dangerous to human health especially when ingested. One of such is a tropical plant known as the “Dieffenbachia.” Which is an ornamental plant but can be super toxic causing serious harm within a very short time.
Known to prefer in the shade and widely reputed for its Hue-beauty and beautiful white-spotted leaves the “mother-in-law-plant” is also known as the “dumb cane” because of its notorious reputation as being able to cause dumbness, numbness, burning sensation, swelling among a long list of other scary symptoms. This perennial plant contains calcium oxalate and it is this poisonous substance that causes these terrible symptoms.
The plant is quite common as an indoor ornamental plant used in decorating homes because of their preference for shade. Due to the indoor position, kids are at greater risk of coming in contact with them more frequently than other plants that typically grow outdoors. As with most poisonous substances, dieffenbachia is even more dangerous if ingested by little children or pets producing even more fatal and scarier results in young kids who may incidentally ingest them. a parent who almost lost a child who ate the plant unwittingly narrated her ordeal:
“I almost lost my daughter, she put part of the leaf of the plant in the mouth! Her tongue becomes huge and she started to choke! Here is this plant and you keep in mind that there are other similar potted plants with almost the same characteristics, which are also poisonous [. . .] Be very careful when you leave your child in the home of someone to keep them. Provide them a safe environment where they can play”
Although, the side effects of eating dieffenbachia is mostly mild and rarely life threatening, they can be quite nasty and it is better as a parent to keep your children safe by keeping them away from the plant. Analgesic agents such as medical charcoal are used in treating complications from ingesting the plant. But in more serious cases especially in children hospitalization may result as a result of severe swelling and gastric evacuation may be required in very severe cases.
Most cases of toxic plant ingestion usually involve children who are actually affected the most by the effects of these plants. It is thus very important that parents teach their children about the dangers of chewing random plants and to be mindful of their environment.
However, kids will always be kids and it is typical to have them put various foreign objects into their mouths unaware of the many dangers they pose. For the purpose of safety, it is therefore a better to keep this plant completely from the house in order to prevent dangerous encounters with the highly poisonous plant.