I've had a really HUGE Pencil Cactus(tree) in my yard for years and cannot help having been exposed to it... Also have previously tested positive for Epstein-Barr virus and pretty much feel like I live with mononucleosis or something like it... Do you think the Dr. would laugh if I said a cactus may have set off a mono virus problem? Probably...
I don't know how to remove this behemoth from my yard and would worry it could set something off in someone else!
On Aug 27, 2008, Kalpavriksha from Sarasota, FL wrote:
Get rid of these, quickly! In the book: Edible Leaves of the Tropics, 3rd ed. by Franklin W. Martin, Ruth M. Ruberte, & Laura S. Meitzner p. 85, it says, "This plant also poisons the soil by release of a carcinogenic substance taken up by edible plants."
In Poisonous Plants and Animals of Florida and the Caribbean by David W. Nellis p. 172, it says, "The diterpenoids have shown activity as tumor promoters (cocarcinogens)."
"Recent research has linked the high incidence of Burkitt's lymphoma in parts of Africa to carriers of the Epstein-Barr virus, which has been activated by exposure to the tumor-promoting 4-deoxyphorbol found in the latex of this plant. The relevance of this epidemiological finding to our industrialized world is that the Epstein-Barr virus has been linked to infectious mononucleosis. If you have had mononucleosis, you probably should not mess with this plant!"
Sorry to rain on everybody's parade!" https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/53909/#b