En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Ingestion of agave sap from Albuquerque NM

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 11, 2013

From: Albuquerque, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Ingestion of agave sap from Albuquerque NM
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My boyfriend was out in the Arizona desert without water for two days and sought moisture through what he thought was a yucca plant but instead we believe was agave. He sucked the moisture off the inside if the agave leaves and is having intense throat pains since. How poisonous is the agave sap he ate, and will the side effects get worse?

ANSWER:

We are not the authority your friend should be talking to. He needs to see a doctor NOW!

Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on effects of the agave sap. This had not been ingested, as in your case, but there was a severe long lasting allergic reaction. The digestive system is reacting, possibly more violently, to contact with that sap than if it had only been the skin that was affected.

While tequila is distilled from one agave plant, it goes through considerable processing and dilution before it is drinkable and/or safe to drink. No one but a doctor can tell if there is internal damage, but certainly something must be done. If all your friend has to do is take antihistamines or steroids, he will be fortunate.

 

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Bloom on non-native Agave attenuata
May 13, 2008 - I have an Agave Attenuata that has grown a long and unsightly stem.Is there a way to cut the plant portion off and re-root the plant without killing the petal portion?
view the full question and answer

Unidentified stalk, possibly manfreda, from San Marcos TX
May 23, 2014 - I had a very weird stalk pop up in my yard in San Marcos TX this month (May 2014) It bloomed very quickly and appears to be a manfreda but there is no rosette, or leaves of any kind - just the thick o...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for highlights in a cactus garden
March 12, 2008 - Hi, I'm looking for some groundcover (succulents or herbs), shrubs, and other perennials to plant along with the cactuses (20 or so) I got from the CDRI plant sale in Fort Davis. The most important ...
view the full question and answer

Native Plant Suggestions for Dripping Springs
August 02, 2011 - I have a very dry commercial property in Dripping Springs TX where the dry sand/dust isn't a good rain conductor (whenever we get rain). What can we plant there? We have no irrigation and use a rai...
view the full question and answer

Natural fibers for lashing bamboo in weaving
May 07, 2008 - I live in Austin and am looking for plants I can use for weaving fibers, e.g. lashing bamboo for a small project. What plants and parts do you recommend? What resources do you recommend for informatio...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center