A Chinese vlogger was rushed to hospital after mistakenly eating a poisonous plant live on camera.
Twenty-six-year-old Zhang is an ‘Internet host’. They’re incredibly popular in China and are very much like YouTubers. She was eating the plant during a livestream to highlight the benefits of aloe vera.
However, she had accidentally purchased Agave Americana, a poisonous plant from Mexico, according to local reports.
At the beginning of the livestream, she says that it tastes good, even saying “yum”. However, as it progresses, she begins to say how “bitter” the taste is. Whoops.
Suddenly, her mouth went numb and her throat felt like it was “on fire”. Cutting the livestream short, she rushed herself to hospital. That was lucky, as doctors reportedly said that if she’d waited much longer, the consequences could have been a lot more serious.
Experts at Cornell University were asked by a member of the public to explain the dangers of the plant after they were poked in the arm by it and experienced a reaction where they went lightheaded and their hand swelled up.
They wrote: “Agave Americana has several toxic compounds, not all of which have been positively identified. It contains the incredibly irritating calcium oxylate raphides (microscopic daggers of crystaline oxylate) as well as some other really irritating oils in the sap. Just the physical trauma to the hand (the pain, the blood, the hematoma (the lump that swelled up when you hit the vein) would be enough to make me lightheaded, but when the other pain-inducing compounds are added, a bad stab with Agave could make anyone a little shocky.
“Lying down was probably a good move. Fermenting the Agave Americana pulp into pulque and/or distilling that into mescal results in beverages that make you lightheaded when you drink it, but of course, that is another story… I hope you heal well without infection. Sometimes some serious granulomas can form if you get infected, so don’t!”
Aloe vera itself is actually really good for you. Sebastian Pole, co-founder of Pukka Herbs and an expert in herbalism, spoke to Marie Claire about the different ways it has been proven to be beneficial.
He said: “It can help strengthen digestion and rid the body of any nasty waste, thus detoxifying the body naturally.
“Its main property is to be soothing, cooling and moistening which helps to clear inflammatory and irritating heat, plus inflammatory skin and digestive problems, such as acne, rosacea and IBS.”
So there you have it. As long as you ingest the right kind of plant, it can have benefits.
In case you’re wondering, Ms Zhang is apparently now in a stable condition. Although I imagine her ego may be a little bruised.
Watch video below: