A Chinese woman live-streaming herself eating what she thought was a healthy Aloe Vera leaf ended up in hospital after swallowing a poisonous lookalike. She was recording a segment on the health benefits of the plant, when she took a bite out of what was actually an Agave Americana plant and poisoned herself.
Vlogger Tries To Prove Health Benefits Of Aloe Vera, Poisons Herself Live On Camera
A vlogger from China is said to have accidentally poisoned herself after consuming a plant she had mistaken for aloe vera live on camera.
The 26-year-old, who goes by her surname Zhang, was live-streaming her 'Aloe Vera Feast' to discuss the benefits of raw aloe vera.
However, the woman didn't realise she was actually consuming Agave Americana, a poisonous plant from Mexico, according to local reports. After a few bites, she apparently realised something was seriously wrong.
At her very first bite, it didn’t taste how she expected. Next, it apparently made her mouth numb, followed by a tingling and burning sensation.
Her words just after her first bite are ‘this is great, yum’. But she soon says a bite later – with a little less enthusiasm – ‘oh, that’s bitter. That is really bitter.’
She then reportedly stopped the live stream to seek medical attention.
The doctors also said that she was lucky to have gone to the hospital quickly enough, otherwise the consequences could be serious, according to Chinese newspaper Chongqing Times.
Despite the drama, Ms Zhang is reported to be in a stable condition now.
The plant Zhang thought she was eating, aloe vera, is commonly consumed both cooked and raw. According to Livestrong, the meat inside the leaves and the natural gel are both edible and are often used on salads or in drinks for a 'refreshing taste'.
'Aloe is considered safe for oral consumption, but because it has a natural laxative effect, long-term, regular consumption is not advised,' they explain.
According to Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Agave Americana has 'several toxic compounds'.
'It contains the incredibly irritating calcium oxylate raphides (microscopic daggers of crystaline oxylate) as well as some other really irritating oils in the sap,' they explain.
It seems a little strange that a wellness blogger would be live-streaming herself eating aloe vera – and even stranger that a successful wellness vlogger wouldn’t know the difference between aloe vera and agave americana.
But we can still learn a lesson from this video, authentic or not: While your house plants may look pretty, don’t assume they’ll taste at all so.