Is elephant ear plant poisonous? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Despite its good looks and unique size, this plant is toxic for both animals and humans. If you see one in the wild, just leave it be. You aren’t advised to touch it. If you have and grow one at home, it takes some extra work and precautions. If you are willing to go the extra length, you should be able to grow one without any risk.
Elephant Ear Toxic Issue
In case you don’t know it, elephant ear plant is the one having giant leaves in the form of a heart. Because of the size and the shape, it is called the elephant ear. Its scientific name is Colocasia. Although it may have unique and attractive appearance, it is toxic to human and animals. If you have pets, such as cats or dogs, you may want to consider your option of growing one at home. There have been several elephant ear plant poisonous cases, which are commonly known as Alocasia poisoning.
You see, elephant ear plant has this so-called (insoluble) calcium oxalate acid, which has crystals on it. When your cat or dog chew the plant’s parts (maybe the stem or the leaf), those crystals would leech to your pet’s tissues on the mouth and skin. Moreover, the stalk and leaves also have some kind of oils or liquid inside. When your pets bite or chew on those parts, the escaped liquid would hurt the pets’ internal parts.
Touching Elephant Ear Plant
Is elephant ear plant poisonous to touch? Yes, it is. There have been several Alocasia poisoning cases reported, involving kids and pets. In most cases, kids are the most prone subjects, when compared to adults. If you touch the leaves or stems, it can lead to skin irritation. It’s highly likely that you may suffer from itching as well as rash. Eating the sap, stems, or leaves will lead to burning sensation within the mouth and throat, and it always ends up in swelling.
The cases for pets are more common because they tend to eat the plant. In elephant ear plant poisonous to dogs cases, for instance, it would involve them eating the stems or leaves. They immediately become sick. The dogs who have ingested the plant may suffer from mouth irritation and also swelling, excessive drooling, and difficulty in swallowing. It’s also possible that they experience diarrhea, slowed heart rate, lack of coordination, and vomiting. The plant itself may not cause fatal effect, but if the dogs eat quite a lot of the plant or if they are sensitive (they have allergies, or such thing alike), the effect can be quite damaging – even deadly.
If you have cat pets, you should be careful. The plant has calcium oxalates, and it is super toxic especially for cats. Just like what happens to the dogs, your cats may experience the same symptoms; or even worse! If you don’t want anything bad to happen to them, maybe you should reconsider your option of having one of the plants at home. Some cases have been reported of other animals ingesting the plant. They suffered from oral irritation, involving the difficulty to swallow and also throat and mouth swelling.
Elephant ear plant poisonous skin means that you can’t even touch the plant with your bare hands. Some of the elephant ear plant poisonous cases involve gardeners touching the plant without using any protective gardening gears, thinking that the plant is harmless. If you are gardening, it’s best to use the gardening gloves, gardening boots, and eye goggles. Never rub your eyes after you touch the plant. If you happen to touch the plant and you start feeling the burning sensation on the skin, wash them immediately. Some people who experienced this stated that the burning sensation went away after they wash it off with running cold water.