Wednesday, 2 June 2010

IS THE ZZ PLANT POISONOUS?

I am sure that many of you out there would have received emails about the ZZ plant below being poisonous.  Actually, not long ago there was all this rage over this plant being a generator of wealth and fortune and people were buying them to decorate their homes and gardens. 
Below is the email I received about the plant being poisonous.
Do you have this plant at home? Beware of it because it is bad for health! Hey frenz...some of you don't read Chinese but never mind, please take note because this is really too dangerous to be ignored and I must share the informationw with you.
Please be aware of the poisonous plant as shown above, please be aware now as it seems to be hazardous to be placed at home, in the office or anywhere near our homes!
Apart from the poison in the sap of the leaves which causes irritation, inflamation or swelling of the face and jaw especially those with  skin allergies.  This plant is useless in terms of air purification, absorption of other harmful or even cancer causing gases in the air e.g.CO2, CH2O (Formaldehyde),C2-H-Cl3(Trichloroethylene).  In fact, even the soil where the plant used to grow would also turn poisonous! So, don't use the soil to plant veggies. Even, insects, ants will not go near this plant.
Oh dear! Too bad, so sad :( don't you think?....such a nice, strong yet elegant plant liked by many just like myself! Incidentally, the Chinese particularly loves this plant owing to it's common name "Gold Coin" tree. 
Anyway for now, just to be safe, probably we can only be "distant admirers" of this lovely plant ya!
Take care...GOD BLESS!

HUMAN REACTION
I have seen many people uprooting the plant and throwing it away (see the picture below).  It is such a waste.  Don't these people realise that the ZZ plants have been in their houses for months or even years and yet they did not suffer from any skin irritation or swollen faces or poisoning.  There might be some coincidental cases where people who planted it got cancer and then when they read about it, they start to put the blame on the plant. 
One thing that I am certain of is that the plant does not have the power to help generate wealth luck to the family. 

I have read of people who became concerned after finding out that their indoor plant called Zamioculcas zamiifolia @ ZZ plant is poisonous if one touches it and that it "contaminates" the air we breathe. There are some who would just get rid of the plant but then there are those who would make enquiries.
From what I have found,  the result is that all parts of the plant are poisonous but only if ingested (eaten). There is no evidence that the plant gives out any poisonous chemicals into the air.

Here is information on untrue rumours spread about the plant
  • Internet discussion groups include the bogus notion the ZZ plant is so poisonous a clay pot cannot be used for another plant or can be dangerous to touch. Such rumors are based on reading untrue information on another website, enhancing and elaborating on it repeatedly, and posting some enhanced notion on another website again and again.
  • "The best one circulating here in Malaysia is that the pollen alone is enough to cause death in adult humans. Actually there is NO scientific research whatsoever to back-up these claims."
  • If you believe the plant is dangerous because it contains calcium oxalate crystals you should know that the same chemical substance is found in many vegetables like Parsley, Chives, Spinach, Carrot, Radish, Garlic, Lettuce, Watercress, Sweet potato, Turnip, Broccoli, Celery, Eggplant, Cauliflower, Asparagus, Cabbage, Tomato, Pea, Turnip greens, Potato, Onion, Okra, Pepper, Cucumbers, Corn and other vegetables most of us eat on a daily basis.
  • It is true some aroids can be very distasteful and may even cause severe pain in the mouth and throat but to claim they are "deadly poisonous" is without merit. Just because something may taste really bad does not mean it will kill you. The best possible advice is to simply not put an aroid leaf in your mouth!
Read more: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/plant+poisonous+only+leaves/2723734/story.html#ixzz0pPzBYyK0
http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Zamioculcas%20zamiifolia%20pc.html
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/plant+poisonous+only+leaves/2723734/story.html

1 comment:

Siroch said...

The person claiming it is poisonous wrote, "Even...ants will not go near it." Huh?? I can say from experience that at least the small Argentinian ants found all over So. California do not mind it. They tried to start a nest in the big pot of ZZ that we have in our living room, and I had to use baby powder and vaseline to keep them out of it.