Home Medicinal Plants Dieffenbachia


by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 358 views


The original home of the Dieffenbachie is tropical America, especially Brazil. The Dieffenbachia is a popular houseplant because of its beautifully marked leaves and because it doesn’t need much sun.


The Dieffenbachia belongs to the aroid family. It is a foliage plant that can grow up to a meter tall. The leaves are about 25 centimeters long, oval, dark green with irregular white spots and long stems. The flowers grow in a spike surrounded by a yellow bract. Flowering time is in March, but the Dieffenbachia rarely flowers.

Toxic parts

The whole plant is poisonous, but especially the stem. In all organs there are so-called calcium oxalate needles, which are fired when mechanically stimulated. These have grooves that allow oxalic acid and other toxins to enter open wounds. Three to four grams of the leaves are considered deadly, and run-off irrigation water is also poisonous.

Possible symptoms

Typical symptoms of poisoning are, for example , nausea , swelling of the tongue, reddened and burning mucous membranes, salivation, swallowing and speaking difficulties, cardiac arrhythmia, drowsiness and signs of paralysis. The juice of the plant irritates the skin – blisters may form. If the juice gets into the eyes, conjunctival injuries occur.

First aid

Remove any plant debris that may still be in your mouth (spit out, rinse). Subsequent fluid intake makes sense. Avoid milk, however, because it can promote the absorption of the poison. If the toxin gets into your eyes, you must immediately rinse your eyes. In any case, consult a doctor, especially if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. The poison information center can also provide helpful first aid tips.

useful information

The individual Dieffenbachia species are difficult to distinguish from one another. But they are all poisonous. In homeopathy , Dieffenbachia is used for premature ejaculation and impotence.

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