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19

The best advice is not to unless you are very, very sure. Having said that, and just for fun, assuming you are in a chronic survival situation with no choice, this article describes how to test if a plant is edible.


18

Here in Slovenia, the use of wild garlic is quite widespread. Although the whole plant, including bulbs, is edible, leaves are most commonly used. I tried only leaves so far, so I can share my experience with only them. Gathering Young, light-green leaves are a bit more aromatic, but smaller; older are darker and larger. I pick a mix of both and look for ...


15

Eating berries and mushrooms is not recommended since there is no general pattern to identify poisonous ones (unless you're an expert on that topic). Even having a book with pictures of edible berries can be tricky as some poisonous ones are disguised as their edible counterparts. Plants, on the other hand, should not be edible if the sap is milky. Milky ...


14

Nettles should be blanched to destroy the formic acid before eating (Handle with gloves of course). Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil & prepare a bowl of ice water on the side. Once the water is boiling, plunge the nettles in the water for no more than a minute or so (the nettles should be bright green & not over cooked). Quickly drain ...


12

I have only had them as a tea with raspberry leaves. Refreshing enough, but nothing I'd actively forage to accomplish. However since the USDA report (direct PDF download) says that stinging nettles are 2.7% protein, and high in a number of vitamins and minerals, I think I'll try using them in a few dishes. Initial collection and preparation for cooking ...


10

First of all don't scratch. blood sucking insects inject anti-coagulant under your skin to prevent your blood from clotting and forming a scab so they don't get their mouthes stuck inside you while sucking. If you scratch, you only manage to spread the anti-coagulant around under your skin, which intensifies the itch and makes things worse. Train your brain ...


9

Get a good book, with full color illustrations. I can't find a link for one, but you want quality equivalent to the Audubon full color field guides. Do a few field runs in the area you plan on being in with someone experienced before you try to eat the foliage. Of course, everything depends on risk. If you've been lost for four or five days and ...


9

Normal detergent should be able to break down the poisonous oils in question, it shouldn't require any specialist stuff to remove them. Just be sure of a few things: Wash infected clothes separate from "clean" (i.e. unaffected) ones to eliminate any possible risk of spreading Make especially sure you don't overload the machine - leave plenty of room so the ...


8

The leaves of the Striped Maple ("Moose Maple") are a no-contest winner, at least in the forests of the northeastern US. The leaves are large, and softer than some forms of toilet paper. As for availability: Anecdotally, I tend to see this plant in most deciduous forests of New Hampshire. It tends to grow bush-like near the ground, at least while it's ...


8

I'll give this a stab, but there aren't any authoritative sources that I've managed to find on the subject! The most I could really find are examples such as this one where people have drank it and felt no ill effects, and I haven't found a documented case of anyone drinking it and it being harmful to them. From a biological point of view the vine will at ...


7

This is not a survival technique. The way to determine how many calories is in a particular food item is to measure the amount of heat energy emitted when an item is burned. Anything burned to ash is basically calorie free as far as food value goes. Ash is composed of whatever was unable to vaporize into smoke in a fire. The hotter the fire, the more ...


7

Poisonous plants are typically more dangerous when you burn them, at least that's true with plants that have oily toxins (poison ivy/oak). Toxins in plants aren't necessarily vaporized when burned. Smoke is a particulate, not a vapour. If you are burning something toxic, the toxins can potentially be carried by particles of smoke and be inhaled which is far ...


7

Dock leaves are good: They're big, durable, plentiful, and (most importantly) non-stinging. A little rough, maybe, but what do you expect from a leaf... ? Remember, try to leave no trace.


6

I'll start with a local favorite: great mullein or common mullein (Verbascum thapsus) Introduced to the North America. I've found it from New York to North Carolina. Apparently originated in Europe and Asia, I think. The leaves are large, moderately durable, thick, but soft and fuzzy. Their usefulness is somewhat limited by the fact that they tend to be ...


6

At least for some species, Rhododendron wood is not especially toxic when burned. I've seen (and used) many species of Rhododendron in the Chinese Himalaya as firewood, in both outdoor and drafty indoor conditions. This included seasoned and unseasoned wood, and large enough quantities of smoke that my Rite-in-The-Rain notebooks still smell like bacon. ...


6

Learning specific plants is helpful, but each person can have different food reactions, and they can change over time. So learning to taste well is a valuable skill: Start with a clean mouth Take a small bite Chew it in the very front of your mouth Spit it out Notice how it tastes, and how you feel. Not just in your mouth & throat, but throughout your ...


6

Plantago works excellent againt nettle because of its anti-histamin properties and, in my experience, also against musquito bites. It grows usually in the neighbourhoud of nettle and might be the only plants that survices on a pathway: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago --> uses You need to crush the leaves and apply it on the 'wound'. (it's like ...


6

Very carefully!! Seriously need to be blanched/boiled to render the Formic acid inert. Formic has a much higher effect on organics than its relative acidity would suggest. From here use like cabbage or such.


5

Over the counter antihistamine products - especially tablets (due to light weight and effectiveness), but also topical creams such as stop itch and antihistamines are the most effective solution. These should be carried in your first aid kit if you have a history of allergy problems. Even for those that normally don't have problems, the size and weight of ...


5

The only thing I can recommend from experience is mud: Cover the itching area with plenty of it and the itching will go away. After the mud dried out and has fallen off, sometimes the bites start to itch again, just reapply. But in most cases I never had to do that again. Generally cold helps by dulling the itching. The opposite, heat, will temporarily ...


5

The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America: Nature's Green Feast would be a good start. Book description from Amazon.com: From mushrooms to ferns, to trees and shrubs, nature offers a slew of healthy and tasty menu alternatives. We no longer have to limit ourselves to the 50 to 60 fruits and vegetables commonly grown in North America but can now ...


5

Poison oak's "poison" is an oil-based substance; therefore any oil-removing soap will do the trick. Dish soap is a low-cost and easily available substance for cleaning poison oak from skin. This study found that: Dish soap was significantly better than no treatment. Dish soap was not significantly different from two other products (Tecnu, which is much ...


5

Thimbleberry leaves are my favourite (Rubus spectabilis), They're all over the place in the Kootenays in British Columbia (Southern Canadian Rockies). They're soft and they're about the size of your hand or bigger. The berries are very tasty too, so you you can have a peachy-fuzz-tart-raspberry snack while you do your business.


3

As noted, the key is removing it quickly. If you like to carry around dishsoap, that will work great. However if you do not regularly carry that around, abrasives are a good alternative. I've effectively used the sand at the bottom of a small waterfall to remove the oils and of the entire hiking group, all of whom realized too late what we'd walked ...


3

Wikipedia is basically right – you can safely eat it (according to the German Wikipedia article the whole plant, however, the leaves are the most used part) and here in Germany they sometimes even sell the leaves in the supermarket. The typical use I know of is the one that is given in the cited Wikipedia text you gave, i.e. adding the leaves to a salad or ...


3

In general, worldwide this is very hard to predict unless you're an expert in the subject (and therefore likely wouldn't be looking for advice on this page!) There are some clues, like plants with milky sap tend to be poisonous - but applying these in a general context is almost always a bad idea since your life can depend on it. The best you can do is to ...


3

It is plant specific AFAIK. But i heard somwhere, that if you taste poisoned berries or fruit it will taste strange - because of evolution - whoever can detect poisonous berry by taste will not eat it and will live longer :-)


3

I cut new growth back and stick the dripping ends in a container. Sap collects quickly and after filtering through a coffee filter it is absolutely clear and tastes refreshing. Never had any health problems from it and the grapevine doesn't even notice as it's a huge vine. Stay away from the main shoots and just nip the new growth back. The vine actually ...


3

My mother makes gnocchi with nettles. You can make them both with or without potatoes. Another nice recipe is meat/pork joint wrapped in nettle and bread. This one may be quite unpractical to prepare outdoor though as you need to bake it.


3

In Russia we make a soup with nettles. It's very very tasty! I have no receipts from myself, but I have some links on Russian receipt forum, maybe it will be useful.



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