I have been considering planting night rose in my compound for some time now but there are rumours I used to hear that the shrubs can cause some diseases like cancer. How is this so? Jared, Kigali.
Potted plants, shrubs and various kinds of plants add to the beauty of the environment and are good for the physical, mental and spiritual health of an individual. Working in the garden itself is an activity that stimulates one’s mind and body positively.
All trees and plants purify the environment by absorbing toxic volatile compounds. For some plants like holy basil, each and every part is useful. But some plants like sting nettle, cactus, poisonous ivy etc, can cause allergic reactions. Some plants or their parts have been implicated in causing cancer. As per a Chinese study, crotons and touch me nots have been linked to increase in nasal cancer.
The leaves and blossoms of a plant called oil drum when fall in soil and combine with soil could cause nasal cancer due to inhalation of this combined substance after it is blown in air.
Aristocholia can cause kidney cancer. Buckthorn bark and berry, coltswort are considered to be potentially carcinogeni to liver. Euphorbia a wild shrub has been implicated in causing Burkitt’s lymphoma. But still much research is needed on cancer causing potential of shrubs.
In fact, many plant extracts like vincristine are used for treating cancers. The commonly used plants can be planted freely. Only be vigilant about allergy or potential poisoning. Never try to eat a new fruit, leaf or seed unless you are sure of its safety.