It was a surprise to read the report “State goes all out to promote flame lily” (Some Tamil Nadu editions, Nov. 23). There have been a numerous instances of renal failure in children and shepherds in villages in and around Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu after consuming this toxic plant (Gloriosa superba). As the root is large and attractive, it is often boiled on the mistaken assumption of it being an edible root like sweet potato or Tapioca despite it being bitter. Eating the root causes diarrhoea, eventually leading to renal failure. Local doctors are often unable to diagnose this. It is the duty of the media to highlight the dangerous effects of such toxic plants.
Dr. N. Mohandas,