Wed. May 22nd, 2024

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese have been frightened out of their wits after
scientists said that a lot of popular ornamental trees in Vietnamese homes may
cause cancer and mental diseases.


The story on National Tropical Botanical Garden said that people should not come
close or touch the leaves, seeds or bark of van tue tree (Cycas revoluta).

Scientists have found out that the alkaloids compound in the tree trunk can
cause cancer, while amino acid is the factor that causes chronic mental
disorder, and cycasin in the seeds also contains high toxicity.

Therefore, people have been advised to reduce contact with van tue trees or put
the trees in closed rooms, because the trees would bring diseases or even cause
death to people. The trees should be put out of the reach of children, because
they may be hurt if they accidentally touch the trees.

Van tue trees have been grown everywhere in Vietnam. Especially, they have been
favored by families, because “van tue” in Vietnamese means “long life.” Some
people grow van tue in the gardens in front of their houses, but many others
like putting them inside the rooms as ornamental trees.

Dr. of Biology, Bui Van Le from the HCM City University of Natural Sciences, has
provided a list of 22 toxic ornamental trees which have been very popular in

Truc dao, or Nerium oleander is one of them. Le said toxicity – Oleandrin,
Neriin – can be found everywhere on the trees. People would get poisoned if they
just touch the trees or swallow parts of the trees. If so, they would suffer
cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmias, or fall into coma. In
serious cases, the poisoning would lead to death.

The toxicity would still exist even if the trees are dried or boiled. Therefore,
people have been advised not to grow truc dao near the water resources (water
tanks, water wells). The falling leaves and flowers of truc dao can poison the

Truc dao have been grown on many streets, in parks as ornamental trees, while no
one has been informed about the high risks of the trees.

Le also believes that Do quyen, or Rhododendron simsii Planch, also has high
toxicity, Andromedotoxin and Arbutin glucoside. A small amount of 100-250 gr of
do quyen would be enough to cause serious poison to a 25-kilo child. The latex
of cactaceae is believed to make someone blind.

All kinds of the trees have still been grown in a large scale in Vietnam, simply
because people lack information about the trees.

In fact, Vietnamese decide to grow or not grow these or that kinds of tree just
because they believe the trees would bring luck and prosperity, while they do
not care about if they are toxic or if they can help treat diseases.

Landlords only consider the size of trees, the color and the style and consult
with experts about if the trees would suit the family members.

A lot of people like leaving fresh flowers in their bedrooms, while many of them
died because the flowers took all the oxygen and generated fragrance. In HCM
City, some children reportedly died after eating ma tien fruits (Strychnos

Lao Dong

By vivian