Moral of the story? Know the plant you’re working with.
Aloe vera or agave plant? One blogger attempting to prove the benefits of the first accidentally poisoned herself with the second — all the while on camera.
The social media blogger, known as Ms Zhang, was recording a live segment about the benefits of aloe vera for her YouTube channel when she made the grave mistake of mixing up the herbs. As Motherboard reports, Zhang took a big bite out of what is actually an Agave americana plant, assuming it was aloe vera.
“This is great,” she tells the camera. Afterward, however, her mouth went numb, her throat felt like it was on fire, and she was forced to go to the hospital where she had her stomach pumped. Fortunately, she is now in stable condition.
Though Agave americana looks similar to aloe vera, its properties are very different. Cultivated in Mexico and North America, the ornamental plants are actually quite toxic. According to Cornell University’s department of animal science:
“Agave americana has several toxic compounds, not all of which have been positively identified. It contains the incredibly irritating calcium oxalate raphides (microscopic daggers of crystalline oxalate) as well as some other really irritating oils in the sap.”
Ms Zhang may have failed to prove the benefits of aloe vera, but she did raise awareness about the toxic effects of consuming the Agave americana plant. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!