The snake plant is one of the best plants that you can have in your home. In addition to being low maintenance, this plant will add freshness and beauty to your house. Is the snake plant poisonous to humans? Here are the facts about it.
Is Snake Plant Poisonous to Humans?
Humans are relatively safe from snake plants. While these plants are safe, make sure that they are not consumed by humans or animals. The leaves of these plants contain a poison that, if eaten in large quantities, can cause swelling and numbness on the tongue. Children and pets should be kept away from snake plants because of this.
The snake plant contains saponins as its poison. They produce saponins naturally as insecticides and fungicides. They are dangerous for living things because they can cause harmful gastrointestinal reactions to both humans and animals that include diarrhea and vomiting.
In addition, snake plant juice can cause dermatitis. It is a type of skin irritation. Whenever humans or animals consume snake plants, they may suffer from allergic reactions that can cause swelling of the tissues in their oral cavity and esophagus.
If your children or pets are eating snake plants leaves, you can try to help them by taking them to a doctor. The snake plant leaves that they eat can be forced into their stomachs as a first aid measure.
Part of Snake Plants That Is Poisonous
The poisonous saponin in snake plants is what makes them poisonous. This poison can be found in every part of the plant, including upright leaves, stiff, small white fragrant flowers, long stems, and occasionally berries. Therefore, you should keep your children and pets away from this plant. Place the snake plant in an area where children and pets cannot access it. It is possible for your children and pets to eat the snake plant leaves if they are placed in an area where they can reach them.
It’s a good idea to hang your snake plant pots to keep them away from children and pets. Therefore, you can still have your snake plants without endangering your children or pets.
Snake Plant Poisoning Symptoms
The snake plant is bitter to the taste, and it is a burning sensation in the mouth when it is consumed by children or pets who are curious about everything. Ingestion of the plant and also saponin will cause these symptoms:
- Lips, tongue, and mouth swollen
- Pain in the abdomen
- Diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea
- Appetite loss
It may cause your pet to drool excessively because it increases salivation. In the digestive tract, foam acts as a poison. As a result, it can rupture blood cells and cause cell death.
How to Protect Pets from Snake Plants
While snake plants are safe to touch, once ingested, the liquid from the leaves will irritate the skin. As we explained above, it can also lead to the other negative things.
Use gloves when repotting or handling snake plants. Furthermore, you should place your snake plant in a place that cannot be reached by your children or pets. It may be possible to put them on a high shelf or hang them.
When your kids or pets eat a bit of the plant, you can remove the bitten bits from their mouths and then visit a doctor. Other things you can do to help them first before going to the doctor include flushing their mouth, inducing vomiting, or pumping their stomachs to empty their contents.
Snake Plant Benefits
If snake plants are eaten, they can cause serious health problems. However, this plant can offer you some benefits that you may not be aware of. The following are some benefits of having snake plants at home.
Removing Air Pollutants
Because snake plants are able to absorb benzene, CO2, xylene, toluene, and formaldehyde, they are effective at removing toxic air pollutants. The pollutants listed above are carcinogens, thus endangering human health. In an office with four to five snake plants, tall snake plants with 60 to 80 cm can reduce CO2 levels, according to a study at Naresuan University Thailand. NASA also found snake plants capable of removing 52.6% of carbon dioxide in a sealed chamber. According to a NASA experiment, snake plants can reduce formaldehyde levels by up to 31,294 micrograms after 24 hours of exposure. Snake plants can also remove xylene, and this pollutant can be found in paint, varnish, paint thinners, pesticides, removers, and rust preventives. The presence of snake plants indoors can reduce exposure to tricholoroethylene and toluene. Snake plants can eliminate up to 13.4 percent of TCE in 24 hours, according to an experiment.
Absorbing CO2 at Night
Snake plants can reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere during the night. Their CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) is responsible for this. The ability to perform CAM photosynthesis is a unique feature of an organism. Plants that contain CAM are usually drought-tolerant. In hot weather, they minimize water loss by opening their stomata in the evening.
Taking Away Allergies
Some plants are capable of reducing CO2, releasing oxygen, and absorbing harmful volatile organic compounds. In general, plants with these kinds of abilities can reduce the likelihood of airborne allergies. Snake plants are capable of doing this.
Producing Great Oxygen
According to a study published in Harvard University Extension, the snake plant is one of the plants that produces the most oxygen.