Poisonous silence: the dumb cane

dumb-caneSap from the dumb cane plant that gets into a human mouth will make the tongue swell, causing speechlessness in adults and sometimes killing children. This effect was used by slave-owners to torture unruly slaves working in Caribbean sugar plantations.

Extract from the leaves also attacks the body’s sex cells. In 1941, Heinrich Himmler, then head of the SS in Nazi Germany, considered using the dumb cane to sterilise war prisoners. The plan failed due the difficulty of shipping enough plants over from their natural home in Central America.

Despite its violent history and the dangerous chemicals found in its leaves and stems, the dumb cane is a very popular houseplant.

3 comments on 'Poisonous silence: the dumb cane'

  1. Rachel Kent says:

    Creepy yet so neat,I don’t think its safe as a homeplant.But so epicly dangerous.

  2. HippyHeart222 says:

    Ouch,Ouch,Ouch!!!That must really hurt,I hope no one gets hurt by it anymore.:D

  3. Kerrian RHoden says:

    I have a dumbcane that is very big and beautiful is it safe to keep inside my house it wont be disturbed by anyone where touching is concerned but is it safe to have in the house?

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