Caladium Alert: Poisons and Other Dangers

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While the caladium is a beautiful and colorful plant, it is also quite poisonous and should always be handled with caution. While an adults tend not to pick up and eat random plants, animals and children are often drawn to the plant for its beautiful colors. This article is here to inform you of the dangers of the caladium so that, in the unfortunate event that you or someone you know ingests it, you can know what to expect and get help right away.

The Poison

The caladium plant is native to South and Central America, most commonly found in Brazil. This beautiful tropical plant is often used in gardens for its beautiful colors. While the poison is the most potent on the leaves it covers the entire plant. The poison is called Calcium Oxalate and is a type of salt which contains oxalate acid. It looks like tiny crystallized needles and, if eaten, can cut your insides on the way down. While the main concern comes from ingesting the poison, those with sensitive skin could be affected by merely coming into physical contact with the plant.

The poison itself can cause severe burning of the mouth and throat and can even cause swelling or choking. While less common, some other effects may include symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Calcium oxalate can also cause redness, swelling and pain in the eyes. If enough of the poison is ingested, it may even cause problems as severe as coma or death. Though recovering from caladium poisoning is possible, you can suffer permanent damage to your kidneys and liver.

What To Do If Ingested

The very first thing you should do if you’ve ingested caladium poison is to call a poison control center right away. It’s of the utmost importance that you keep note of how much was ingested, how long ago and your weight and size. Knowing these variables will help poison control experts and doctors know what to expect and how to treat you or the poisoned party. If you’ve ingested a decent amount of the poisonous plant, you should also call 911 as serious problems may arise if a large dose of poison is taken. In order to get some instant relief and protection it’s wise to wipe out your mouth with a cold, wet cloth before drinking milk. Milk has specific properties to help sooth the burning caused by caladium poisoning.

Any time you ingest any poison it’s very important to know how to treat it. Poison control hot lines are available throughout the U.S. and many other countries and can be used at any time, not only in emergency situations. With this specific poison it’s very important that you get treated or told what to do by either a poison expert or a medical doctor.