Many of our ancestors died from eating poisonous plants so we didn't have to.
Still, even in this age of information, some lessons get lost, and popular Chinese health vlogger Zhang nearly lost her life after eating a poisonous plant. The jarring incident was witnessed by viewers on a live-stream Zhang titled "Aloe Vera Feast."
Zhang apparently thought she was eating aloe vera and delivering a video on its health and beauty benefits. However, what she had in her hands and mouth was, according to the Shanghaiist, actually agave americana, a plant native to Mexico and the southwest United States and only edible to humans after careful preparation.
At the start of the video, Zhang remarks "yum" and "this is great," but swiftly discovers that the plant is in fact quite bitter. Then her mouth goes numb and she says that her throat feels as if it is "on fire."
She reportedly broke out into a rash with severe blisters and was rushed to the hospital to have her stomach pumped.
Cornell University's college of agriculture and life science reports that agave americana is toxic to humans. Aloe vera itself is not and is popular not only for sunburns, but for smoothies and other recipes. There are similarities between the plants as they are from the same family, but one comes with a danger warning if not cooked properly.
Zhang is now reportedly in stable condition and returning to health. On the bright side of this scary story, she's taught the world a valuable lesson by example: We'll never mistake agave americana for aloe vera. Ever.