Hey, I was born and raised on Maui. I ran to my computer and found your story when I googled “how to counteract eating raw taro root”. This happened to me two nights ago and I’m nervous because the pain isn’t going away. That’s when we were hit with the next wave: sheer exhaustion and lethargy. Evening I had a small leaf.what all symptoms you had at that time.. even i my having now. Thanks for sharing, Lihau! Holy shit, boss lady! Molly. I brewed a cup of Earl Grey tea and after two small sips, noticed that I was covered head to toe in bumps – think Nestle Crunch! Thank you for sharing this valuable experience. ~Karen. It was as if I had swallowed a bee and it stung me, mid swallow. Taro root is a tropical root vegetable that is featured in cuisines around the globe. May it be filled with learning from other people’s mistakes. This is caused due to the presence of calcium oxalate in the plant. I feel your pain, Ruchi! I ran into Luanne’s office, took her smoothie away from her and dumped both our smoothies into the compost. OMG! McDonalds + salad = food poisoning on such a level that I seriously didn’t know which end to put in the shitter. Thank you for sharing, this has been noted! The.Worst.Christmas.Ever! A lot of recipes use the leaves for wraps to cook foods…like banana leaves are used. Prepare a calming cup of sage tea by adding 2 tablespoons of the leaves to a cup of hot water. I gifted the rest of my ferns to a local resident who didn’t have any reaction. Luckily he didn’t swallow any, but so far, it still sucks almost as much as what you have said. (I come from a big family) And for good reason! If we could breathe and swallow, then we were good to go and we would just have to wait it out because there is nothing that can be done about taro leaf poisoning. I moved to the couch and again, I farted SUPER loud (only once this time) and then I cracked up and went back to sleep. I thought it would be creative to just have them raw in a salad. Lemierre's syndrome, for example, is a rare disorder that begins with a fever and sore throat. It was dry, but a tiny bit of it must have gotten on my bread. Hi Hillary, There are 2,000+ species of plants in the Aroid family are poisonous. Sounds more like you ingested a form of elephant and the leaves also appear to be elephant ears. But just something to think about in the future. I worked from 7am to noon and then I slept for a few hours. 1.Tea, Tulsi(Basil Leaves) And Ginger. Luckily, I didn’t swallow any of it! this is awful to read! She said it was probably roadside toxins & to pick only in the woods. Thanks for your article. THANKS FOR POSTING. And just for anyone reading this and looking at the “taro” growing in your yard or wild all over the place, while kalo can grow wild it’s not common to find it growing wild. !” Yep, right. I was not in my right mind, am still out of it. Always ask the brown people before you eat the vegetation. Salt Water. Then Saturday morning rolls around. Taro is really hard to grow. Eating raw or half-cooked taro leaves and corm releases this crystalline toxin that causes irritation to the oral cavity down to the throat. Some of these plants have been used with humans to prevent individuals from talking by causing excessive tongue swelling, hence the name "dumbcane". Molly. http://www.molokaihealthguide.com/healthtalk/display.htm?id=34, Enchanted Learning - Great for basic info and diagrams. When I got better, I took a poll of the dirty girls and they all advised to dump it. When preparing recipes that include grated taro, it is a good idea to cook the root before grating. I’ve gotten burny mystery rashes on my arms several times working in that area, never knew the culprit, but now the Taro sounds likely. xo We are all doing ok right now. After we had two more big drinks, it hit us. Threw out what was in my mouth, puked a bit. The next day when I knew I was not going to die but wanted to research fiddleheads, bingo….HAVE TO BE COOKED, raw they are toxic. I found wild carrots at home a week later after digging around, and ate them. Thankfully I wasn’t! I ate a bit of the raw leaf on Friday night, and it’s now Sunday afternoon and my tongue and throat is still so uncomfortable. The doc said that people react to mango skin. I am really really grateful for this article. It is just nasty…, So, I googled it and am extremely relieved that I probably won’t be dying from it, just be sick for a day or two. Hope you are starting to feel better, Lisa! You know the feeling then! So sorry this happened to you! My “poisoning” experiences were from taking niacin (major heat flash moving through my body where I could feel/see the heat moving up via bright red skin – lasted about an hour and also, per poison control, nothing can be done about it) and the couple times as an adult that I took zinc (threw up violently several times about 5-10 minutes after ingesting and then felt fine; the second time I took half as much as the first time but still threw up and then decided zinc tablets aren’t for me). https://wellnessmama.com/3334/food-poisoning-remedies/ The horrible day I ate raw taro root I tried everything. haha, Not poisoning per se, but as a young teenager, I made snickerdoodles, my favorite cookie. Mahalo and Aloha Deb3L November 24, 2008 at 9:58 PM At least now you know! I believe the raw taro should not be eaten as well that it also needs to be cooked. HAHA, I am laughing now…. Make sure that you consume it hot. You can also use peppermint leaves in your tea to make your throat cool and refreshed. my GF is Vietnamese we eat taro, squash leaves, polk salad, rubarb all the time. An age-old home remedy for colds, chicken soup can help soothe a sore throat, as well. I got it from a Wendy’s salad years and years ago! Lu’au Stew and fresh poi are two of my favorites. what do you suggest? Hi Geron, Thanks for stopping by. I really think we need more accurate information about these dangers, especially as we are in an age of ‘global cuisine’, when unusal foodstuffs are being newly introduced to areas thousands of miles away as a common part of every day life. One study found that honey was even more effective at … And, for fuck’s sake NEVER EAT RAW TARO should be in the bible. 3. He was holding the remains of a taro leaf in his hand, so i suspected that this is what the problem was. I sincerely wish that I would have known about this before it was too late! It’s such a horrendous thing to go through! The only thing I didn’t have a bite of was the scallops. I thought I was the only one. Then the itching started…god awful. Never eat it raw, always make sure that you steam it for an hour or more, which is what our family does. All of these except Squash leaves must be prepared properly or they could kill you. xo Until it wasn’t. This information came from http://www.molokaihealthguide.com/healthtalk/display.htm?id=34. xo I could barely walk and when I did, I was definitely walking like a hunched over 95-year-old man. The leaves have the same itching effect if not cooked properly. Cooking the taro thoroughly will prevent this. Yikes. It has large green leaves (also called “luau leaf”) and the root is starchy like a potato. My nice new ip ring still smells like smoky Gouda though LOL, NOOOOO! Affected animals will shake their head, paw or rub the face and mouth, may salivate or foam at the mouth, may seek water, or may have visible swelling. I was able to go back to sleep but felt really tired the next morning. Wishing you a happy week. Typically, animals are not severely affected, since a few bites of the plants are often a sufficient deterrent to further consumption. Went home, took a bit of a taste to see what I was working with and the hell fire began. Got itchy hands as a result. But nothing. Thank you for sharing your rashy experience, Kate! Molly. It felt like my chest was on fire from the inside. Lesson learned, you poor poor girls ! It was perfect. Saltwater gargling: Put a half teaspoon of salt in a normal cup of warm water. Next time if you get the itchy from undercooked kalo, or worse yet a problem eating raw, the solution is to eat some cooked kalo corm, poi for example. Fortunately I only took just a taste, but it’s like eating a cactus. It’s also common knowledge in Hawai`i that you need to cook all parts of the plant throughly before eating. She asked why I sent it. Turns out it was stricknine (sp) poisoning because my mom had sprayed for ants, and didn’t tell us the counters were coated in it. I’m so glad you’re better! 1) Wash taro thoroughly in tap water; peel and cut up if desired, puncture with fork if cooking whole. Hi Carolee, so sorry that you and your little ones had to go through this. Sorry, I meant star fruit may destroy the kidneys, not the liver. Though Taro is primarily grown for its roots, even its leaves have … All you need is a large bowl and cold water to effectively clean the leaves. Then apply enough salt to covertheareaandrubitinthoroughly witha little cold water. "A simple sore throat can cause lots of problems," Sataloff says. 1 decade ago. If you are suffering from itchy throat then the following homemade remedies will definitely help you. 2010).As raw consumption can result in an acrid taste accompanied by swelling and irritation of the mouth and throat (Savage et al. I was still planning to make the meal tomorrow, but now I am going to use spinach instead. Maybe a good idea to ask your Native Hawai’ian neighbors in the future about preparing local food items like this? It was similar to poison ivy- it bubbles and spreads. After taking a bite of a cookie, I noticed it tasted “off”. I hope you feel better soon! I’ll try. Very severely affected animals may experience oral swelling to the point that swallowing and breathing become impaired. We do not know of any specific way to escape the burning sensation. This was on repeat for the rest of the day, until we went to bed at 8:30pm. I never ate taro in the few years I lived there, but am now grateful I didn’t. xo Their challenge was to cook a traditional Hawaiian Luau with their own twist. Thanks for sharing, and the warning! ~ Karen + Team Dirty. Luanne moved to the couch and laid down. This is what Molly did when she consumed it not realizing it was so toxic. I read recently that the same thing has happened to a bunch of people eating Mickey D’s salad, 4 of them hospitalized (which in hindsight I probably should have been). We both slept. Thank you for the public service announcement and I wish I had googled first!! We sipped soup. I don't know about anyone else, but I love the show Top Chef on Bravo. Steaming with peppermint leaves in a bucket of boiling water would be another great option. but what a way that would have been to die. And she had to explain it to the docs at the hospital!! On the flip side, we talked to one of our native Hawaiian friends and she lost her shit when she heard that we blended up and ingested raw taro leaves. Be a rad friend and share this post with them. So way back in 6th grade (1991), we’d been reading My Side of the Mountain, and two boys brought in “wild foods” to share: wild carrots. xo and she gave me the med of the day (here, honey…this will help) which soon had my eyes uncontrollably rolling back and my tongue uncontrollably retracting in my throat. It could help your life! xo No joke. They were warned to cook the taro for a long time so that it would not cause itching or burning in the back of the throat. Still bad tho! If you are suffering, definitely call your doctor or poison control. So I searched on internet about it and about WHAT TO DO if it happens. I had a similar experience with uncooked beans. My husband is so not on the same page as me on that. I got up two hours later. We managed to go to the grocery store to get some activated charcoal in the hopes that it would help draw out some of the toxins that were making us sick. Glad you can now laugh about it…, It was horrible! Glad you are ok and thanks for stopping by! Taro Leaves Poisonous . Lv 6. What you’re pointing at is a closely related cousin to kalo often called Elephant Ear, the upright version is called ʻape by Hawaiians. Cooking the taro thoroughly will prevent this. Sending you lots of love! Molly. Whole Food Plant Based Meal Plans, Recipes & Programs, August 18, 2018 by Molly Patrick 142 Comments. My toddler and I both spit it out and my 5 yr old only swallowed a small piece, thankfully!!! I can’t imagine how painful it was. Taro leaves cooked in the ground with coconut milk is one of my all time favourite foods, and a real treat, even for son’s Dad’s side of the family. It is now about an hour after I ate it raw. Anyway, so very glad you and Luanne are on the mend. I shouted to her, “Put the smoothie down. Thanks for sharing your story, man that sucked for you! Know someone living or traveling in the tropics? Only a few, such as Taro, can be eaten and only after the toxins have been cooked out. In addition to providing dishes with a pop of color, it also brings a host of important nutrients to the table, including fiber, manganese and vitamin E. It’s even been associated with several health benefits, including improved heart health, enhanced digestive function, reduced oxidative stress and more. I don’t get why they don’t warn us about the reactions…, Feel better soon! Scared the crap out of my husband! Last week I was at my local health food store and I bought a big bag of taro leaves. Taro root should never be consumed raw. These organisms can also be harmful and poisonous to health. Taro, however, is quite difficult to handle as it makes the skin terribly itchy. Not for nothing, Semites, both of the Jewish and Arab persuasion need to be careful with fava beans, which can cause deadly hemolytic anemia… just from inhaling the pollen, and of course, from consuming them. Wow. Chewing raw or half-cooked taro can set free these needle-like crystals and cause an uncomfortable itching in the mouth and throat. It wasn’t as bad as your’s but bad enough to last till 4 in the morning and as I am writing this my upper body still feels heavy. Any native islander would have told you steer clear unless you knew how to properly clean it. Who knew- I think that grocery stores should put up signs about this phenomenon. So while this is common knowledge to some, other people are totally in the dark about it. Nasuea and cramps subsided quickly. I broke out in a rash so extreme that it covered my body from the top of my head to the undersides of my feet and all places inbetween. Same goes for the root. Yes, it’s the raw taro leaf consumption that caused Molly and others trouble. On Christmas Day, at a campsite in South Carolina, I managed to consume veggie broth and water. Chewing raw or half-cooked taro can set free these needle-like crystals and cause an uncomfortable itching in the mouth and throat. Brah you supposed to cook them. Mystery solved! After the first drink of smoothie, we both noticed a spicy taste. As we talked to people in our private Facebook group about this, we heard from a lot of people who have lived in Hawaii for a long time who had no idea that eating taro leaves raw was so harmful. I had a similar experience many years ago now, when my son, who was about 4 at the time, decided to have a munch on a taro leaf. xo And all of these taste like collard greens or spinach……taro is great because it grows so fast. Thought it was bad sushi. Thanks for evryone’s time to add comments on different food poisoning. Luckily half cooked instead of raw. The vegetable contains a bitter-tasting compound called calcium oxalate. I can’t believe that something so potentially poisonous is sold so casually at a grocery store. Now I know why! Absolutely! I did the same thing , but I just ate a bit of it , torn peice which was about to go in the steamer. The main causes of an itchy inner ear are water lodging, damage to skin, or a fungal or bacterial infection. It even almost hurts my ears, in a “very mild ear infection” sort of way (only sometimes, not constant.) days (longest ever with a bout of this sort), all I could do was sip water in between toilet hugging trips, which weren’t far as I pretty much lived on the bathroom floor (yech again). Damn it!! , Poor thing! They do leave terrible itchy feelings in your throat if not cooked properly, so be careful! About 4 years ago I had finally decided to try and transition to Raw Food eating. Just glad that I didn’t swallow the taro leaves. What seemed to finally heal me up was going to a movie with my neighbor. It gets me every time. I still cannot stomach the thought of smoky Gouda sauce. She read it again. ~Karen, RAW fiddleheads. I came across your blog while searching for what happened to me last night. xo Thanks for your entry, it was the only one I found with anything more than “Just don’t eat ’em”. Every part of the Kalo (Taro) plant was and is an important part of Hawai`ian diet. My son’s father is Samoan and their family had a large taro plantation while he was growing up. This is where the narrative takes a turn straight into shit town. I checked the canister and saw the weevils moving around. Anyone could have easily made that mistake if people are promoting it as a health food. It sounds liek I only had a small dose in compariosn to you two, but HOLY FUCK that wass uncomfortable. Hence, its cultivation is limited to warmer temperatures. To this day I will not eat any beans raw even the ones that are safe. They are dried and I was thinking about trying to brew them into my tea. Do I ever eat at any kind of buffet? Hi Patti O!! I also have family members that have cooked them and have been fine eating them. xo LOL Hi Rona, kudos to you for taking time to research potential ingredients and learn about them. The dogs got into a pot of bulbs that were dumped out under the deck (blooms were over, waiting to transplant in the fall), chewed them up, and ended up nearly unconscious, vomiting and drooling uncontrollably. I grabbed my phone and called poison control. We hope you get some relief. My mom told me the same thing! Great story for the grandchildren, Wow! They can read all about what NOT to eat and then sign up for our weekly fuckery, delivered to their inbox every Saturday. At this point, I heard Luanne coughing as well. It was a shitshow, literally and figuratively. Hi molly!!! Felt like hell and stupid at the same time. Some of these plants have been used with humans to prevent individuals from talking by causing excessive tongue swelling, hence the name "dumbcane". Molly. No what was pictured is taro, although sometimes taro is called elephant ears. Oh my goodness! I did know about rhubarb leaves, but my finding that out was a fluke, and didn’t matter cuz I don’t like rhubarb anyhow. On the other hand, my sister, also in S.E. I’ll spare you the shitty details, primarily because Lori is mortified that I’m posting this much. It was excruciating, itchy, and I cried a lot, scared it meant something bad. Do not drink anymore! I love trying new things but now I approach anything new with caution and research the heck out of it before I decide to try it. My throat is still numb and making it hard to swallow. I found this post after I got worried because of the excruciating burning sensation that I started to feel. Here, in the Hawaiian Islands, taro plants are eaten after thoroughly boiled to destroy the toxins; the leaf must be boiled at least 45 minutes over low heat, whereas corms are boiled in a deep pot with salted water for at least an hour or until soft. Interesting. I will never LOOK at a taro plant the same. For both things I wasn’t feeling great and tried it because someone said it helped them feel better. Let it stay for about 15 minutes and then drink it warm. Colocasia esculenta is a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corms, a root vegetable most commonly known as taro (/ ˈ t ɑː r oʊ, ˈ t æ r oʊ /), or kalo (see §Names and etymology for an extensive list). I had to Google it up fast to find out what type of taro leaves I ate this morning and saw your post. Thank you so much! Wow only a haole would do some dumb shit like that. I don't really like reality television, but I love to watch people cook. I tried eating some fermented coconut yogurt to sooth my throat. What a horror story!!! Thank you for sharing this horrible/hilarious story! . Well, I am from India and yesterday I was trying to make a dish called “Patra” from the state of Gujrat in India and guess what’s the main ingredient of the dish.. heck yeah, Taro leaves! Feel better soon, big hugs ❤️. I did however crack up in parts of your story, and I appreciate what you went through. But the villagers had spiked the stew with those plants. The irony would be way too rich. I’m amazed the entire class didn’t get sick like I did. By eating just a small part i feel horrible. Also not good if taking certain prescribed drugs. I took activated charcoal. Within in about 30 minutes I was sweating profusely, my head was pounding, I spent most of the day on my knees hunched over in pain. For years in my early days in Hawaii I would try to cook taro leaf the way everyone says (just boil it in water), and every time it caused itching. Who knew!! There are many scratchy throat causes – viral infections (like cold or flu), bacterial infections (like strep throat or whooping cough), allergies, dryness, muscle strain, etc. Thank you for sharing. My throat started to feel super hot. Absolutely horrified that you’ve been through this, and hoping for much, much, MUCH better days in the very near future. AK, just a different town, picked some and put them in her smoothie, RASH and yucky. Taro (Scientific name: Colocasia esculenta) is a plant that is mainly grown in tropical and sub-tropical climates. She said. xo The next 2 days are a blur, as my partner drove further south to escape the snowstorms (we were hauling a big ass camper and he did a LOT of cursing), and I lay groaning on the front seat, curled up in a ball. The itchy inner ear and throat is common and doesn’t interfere with your hearing capability. Molly. It’s got a great texture…. Here’s one more: avoid butterfish/escolar/white tuna. !” and I quickly went to my computer and Googled “raw taro leaves,” at which point the words “toxic,” “poisonous” and “2 cases of death” popped up on my screen. We watched Shameless. She did mention that it may be poisonous but not sure so I decided to google before I cook. Very bad if you have any kidney problems, esp. It's not another boring "newsletter." We slept. This time by a toddler, not a sumo wrestler, so hooray for that! But the following are some tried and tested remedies that will help you in most cases. My throat starts to itch, and I had difficulty breathing. I know it will probably go away soon, but what foods should I avoid in the meantime, and what should I eat? I poured a smoothie for myself and one for Luanne. Home remedies will vary as per the different causes of the itchy throat and ears. Good one, thank you for sharing! But they must, must, must be cooked properly first. Molly, That’s super good to know. As I was waiting on the phone, Luanne ran to the bathroom and forced herself to throw up to get the toxins out of her. There is a message in there. Thank you for sharing. Have you ever had a bad hangover and then the next day you were hungover from your hangover? Oh wow, Maurie! Bula I’m from Fiji and we eat rourou(taro leaves) every other day and it’s my favorite but only cooked right, sometimes with water or coconut milk for 30ms or so and at home. ~Karen. I always hated any kind of beans and never really ate them except for in chili so I figured the best way to try different kinds was to get a mixed bag of them that was made to be used in soups. I’m sorry for you both and definitely appreciate the warning. When I went through my experience I also could not find very much about it online so I decided to write about it. In all of my poisoned misery, however, I did manage to find some gratitude. Too bad I did not know this PRIOR to blending the shit out of the leaves, making the toxins even more bioavailable, and then drinking it down. Shannon in London x. Molly & Luanne — This is a great PSA, not just for those living where taro root is commonly found, but for travelers too. The worst experience: A few days after discovering I was pregnant I had an exam by my gynecologist who wore latex gloves. Sometimes if it’s not cooked well, you can have that itchy aftertaste. lol – thank you for sharing! Oh no! It was noon and I felt super hungover. Typically we only hear of someone getting itchy throat but that’s because its some times not cooked long enough but never not cooked at all. That’s sounds fucking terrible, although I was fully expecting diahoerra and you both shat yourselves Lol When preparing recipes that include grated taro, it is a good idea to cook the root before grating. Ally your irritation, must be prepared properly or they could kill you market... 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