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18

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.


14

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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. ...


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

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. via Wikipedia


5

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.


4

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.


4

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 ...


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 ...


2

I make my own laundry soap. I just found out that fels naptha soap found at walmart in the laundry isle is the best to use for the oils left on material items. Try it it works great and i save tons of money. Just grate the soap and mix with borax and washing powder. If you like you can also put in crystals. I use purex. 2 tsp in the wash cycle and WOW!


2

As other answers say, don't just try it. A good negative indicator is if it irritates your skin. I've read that particularly with berries, if you crush some and rub some of the juice on a patch of skin and let it sit for a while, some berries will cause irritation, which is a good indicator not to eat them!


1

The answer to your question is no. North America is a huge region. Even California is vast and varied, e.g., we have miner's lettuce at low elevations, but not higher up. For a given subregion, e.g., low altitudes in the Transverse Ranges of California, it's fairly easy to learn enough to identify a few trail snacks that might (or might not) be available. ...



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