Toxicology: Look Out for Those Plants & Spices

Danger lurks in the most innocent-looking household plants and spices, according to the latest warnings by doctors. Items:

∙ The 40-year-old housewife who appeared at the emergency room of University Hospitals in Cleveland could not swallow and could scarcely talk. Her tongue was swollen and intensely painful. Through these impediments she managed to tell the doctor that while tending her house plants that afternoon, she had bitten a piece of stalk from a handsome specimen with striped leaves, called Dieffenbachia. Her pain was so severe that the doctors had to give her a morphine-type drug. After a while she was able...

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