Poisonous House Plants

Common names
Chinese Aloe, Indian Aloe, True Aloe, Barbados Aloe, Burn Aloe, First Aid Plant, Wand of Heaven and Miracle Plant

Botanical name
Aloe barbadensis

Poisonous parts
Latex

Poisonous component
Aloe-emodin

Notes
Aloe is a popular house plant due to its reputation as a healing plant for burns, cuts and other skin problems since ancient times. Aloe is mentioned in the New Testament at John 19:39-40

And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes...

 Caution should be exercised before using Aloe from an Aloe plant because contact dermatitis can occur in sensitive individuals. You should cut away the skin and inner layer of yellow juice leaving only the actual gel. The yellow juice, especially prominent in older plants, is the primary irritant in the cases of contact dermatitis. Test a small area of skin, such as the inner forearm, for a reaction before more general use.

As with Aloe arborescens, ingestion of the latex, which is found just under the skin, can cause a cathartic (purging) reaction by irritating the large intestine. One of the components of Aloe is a compound called Aloin. It was a common ingredient in laxative products until the FDA banned its use in 2003. Aloin is now typically removed during processing.

Although there is no doubt that Aloe holds many promising uses there is a great deal of controversy surrounding its safety and efficacy and more research is needed to unlock its true potential.

Aloe is also an air purification plant.

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Aloe Vera

Can you see the start of the flowering stalk?

Toxicity Information
Courtesy of:
Derek B. Munro
Biological Resources Program
Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre

 

Poisonous House Plants
Air Cleaning House Plants
Introduction

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