En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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 Poisonous Plants Questions

Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?
November 22, 2014 - Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?
view the full question and answer

New house plant in pot in Chevy Chase MD
May 07, 2010 - Is it possible for one house plant to eventually die in the pot while a completely different plant grows in its place? The new plant looks similar to the potted plant next to it but it is not quite t...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Star Jasmine poisonous to dogs from Dallas
May 20, 2013 - Is star jasmine poisonous to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Flying insects eating leaves of non-native Brugmansia in Aline CA
October 17, 2013 - I have an Angel Trumpet tree. We live in Aline, California 30 miles east of San Diego. Little yellow and black flying bugs eat the leaves. Do you have a remedy for this problem.
view the full question and answer

Comment on poisonous sweet pea plant from Kalama WA
October 29, 2011 - No question, comment only. I am aware of the story of Christopher McCandless (Call of the Wild)and the belief that he was poisoned by ingesting part of the sweet pea plant; however I am curious what ...
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