Introduction: The Edible Plant Test

Picture of The Edible Plant Test

When you're lost in the wilderness, with no or very little supplies, how is one to get food? It would be hard to actually catch something to eat, wouldn't it? So to actually get something inside your stomach, you turn to some leafy green plants.
Why? Because
a) they don't run away like an animal
b) you don't need to make a trap or other hunting device in order to kill it (sometimes you just need your bare hands)
But you don't know if the plants in your area are edible or not.
So to fix the problem, here is the edible plants test! (Whee)

Step 1: The VIRs (Very Important Rules)

Picture of The VIRs (Very Important Rules)

When testing your plant, you want to make sure that even though you are doing the test, there are some rules to abide if you don't want to get sick.

1. Clean whatever you eat the best you can.
The plant might have animal leavings, germs or other contaminates on it.

2. Follow this test as to-the-book as possible as you might be paying the consequences, as whatever you are eating may kill you.
Also, in retrospect, some plants may be unresponsive to the test, but usually that is a small percentage.

3. Don't overeat on whatever you are eating. Your body might not be used to the species of plant you are eating. Also your body might not be used to all the fibre in the plant. It may cause digestion problems.

4. If you smell a peachy or almonds smell in your plant, leave it, as it is cyanide, a very strong poison to animals in general, including humans.

5. If an animal is eating a plant, doesn't mean you can.
Many animals have adapted to eating a specific plant, and sometimes the plant is poisonous. Some examples are monarch butterflies and poisonous milkweed, and koala bears and harmful eucalyptus leaves.

6. Never trust a mushroom, fungi, or anyone else in that plant family.
In the wild, safe fungi and mushroom can have many poisonous lookalikes. I would leave a mushroom alone, but if you are triple-checked sure that they are safe and you have eaten it before, then I suppose you can eat them.









Step 2: Separating the Plant

Picture of Separating the Plant

Only use one plant at a time, and while doing this test, don't eat anything else as it might affect the outcomes of the test.
First, separate the plant into four parts; root, leaves, berries, and the stem. Test each part of the plant one at a time, as parts of plants can be poisonous while others are not.

Step 3: The Rub Test

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Find a sensitive place on your body, such as the inside of your wrist, your forearm, or inner thigh, and rub the plant onto the sensitive area.
Wait 45 minutes, while monitoring your body's reaction. Look for a rash, hives, dizziness, loss or shortness of breath, or puking. If you have these symptoms, do not eat the plant.

Step 4: The Lip Test

Picture of The Lip Test

The next part of the test is to take a pinch of the plant and hold it against your lips for 10 minutes. Stop if you feel any itching or burning, and clean your face the best you can, and start over with another plant. If nothing happens, continue with the test.

Step 5: The Tongue Test

Picture of The Tongue Test

After the lip part of the test, put the pinch of the plant onto your tongue, and HOLD it there, and don't swallow for another 10 minutes. If anything feels wrong, spit the plant out. But if there isn't, continue with the test.

Step 6: The Chew Test

After holding the plant matter on your tongue, start chewing for about 5-10 minutes, again watching for any irritation or other symptoms.

Step 7: The Small Amount Swallow Test

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If the chew section of the test does nothing, the next step is to swallow the plant. Next, you wait for 8 hours to see if you feel sick. If so, induce vomiting and drink as much water available.

Step 8: The Handful Swallow Test

Picture of The Handful Swallow Test

If the pinch of plant matter went down well with no problems, move up to eating a handful of whatever plant you are eating. Again, wait 8 hours until you are sure that the plant is safe.

Kudos! You just learned how to test an edible or non edible plant!
I'm sorry it takes a little long, but it would be worth it if you actually were in the wild. Please try not to cut corners as it might end up risking your life.

Comments

eteal111 (author)2014-07-12

I would like everyone to know that when the author said "Almond" smell, it is not the nut, rather the extract sent. Smells a bit like cherries.

GTO3x2 (author)eteal1112017-03-28

Thank you

DDW_OR (author)2016-10-20

fern fiddleheads, new shoots than have not opened up are edible, but not the adult fern leaf

https://www.bing.com/search?q=edible+fern+fiddlehe...

nancyjohns (author)2014-04-27

Apparently, you can safely ingest dandelion leaves. Hm.

dbyrd26 (author)nancyjohns2014-05-20

They're very good for your kidneys. They sell it at grocery stores near where I live.

Doubting_Thomas (author)dbyrd262016-10-19

Dandelions are good for your canine as well (particularly if suffering from Addison's or Cushing's disease):

http://www.wagville.com/Cushings%20and%20Addisons.pdf

chokapi (author)nancyjohns2014-05-14

You can. I have. They're delicious with a little butter and garlic.

There are a bunch of backyard greens that you can eat. Dandelions are one, and you can eat the flowers and the leaves. Also, violets -- the whole thing, flower, stem and leaves; and nettle is actually sold in stores. You can find Amaranth everywhere, too, and the leaves and seeds are both edible. Suffice to say that if you're stranded near an American town, there's food galore growing everywhere.

You'll want to be careful about harvesting from populated areas; dogs and chemicals.

nancyjohns (author)chokapi2015-04-25

I once ate a dandelion leaves and wild onions. The leaves where bitter, but, it was still DELICIOCE!

brett_the_beast (author)2014-05-28

Also, I was being hypothetical with the whole poison Ivy thing. However there are people out there that don't know what it looks like

brett_the_beast (author)2014-05-28

I just gotta know if the side effects from any of the tests would have bad effects. Say you do the arm test with a leave of poison Ivy since you have no Idea what poison Ivy looks like. Well, since you're stuck in the woods your arms are all scratched up. You may notice the rash, but it could already be in the blood stream and spreading around your body with nasty effects. I personally don't recommend eating anything unless its absolutly vital to survival. Otherwise even these tests could prove fatal very quickly

lucek (author)2014-05-21

"Never trust a mushroom, fungi, or anyone else in that plant family."

Good advice bad cladistics. Fungus are a kingdom not a family, the same as plants. Plants are as close to fungi as animals.

That said people who know what they are doing and have a guide to local edible flora die from eating poisonous plants. This is a last resort.

pantherj12 (author)lucek2014-05-21

Hey, Yeah, you're right about the mushroom mistake. Sorry! My mind was on plants at the time so that's probably why that mistake was made. However, I did say when talking about the mushrooms to be sure what you are eating. A lot of survival books recommend this, so I am 99% sure that it would work. But again I did mention that this test does not work on a very small percentage of plants.

bricobart (author)2014-05-21

Without any doubt the most useful I'ble in this contest ;) Well done!

Treasure Tabby (author)2014-05-20

Great instruct. But for people like me, I would have to have this on hand some how. Most likely I would forget a few things from this.

Luckily not long ago I bought this little hand book on wild edibles for such a purpose.

But with the book, this info would make a great addition.

BTW I have recently explored a little neat edible called the Garlic Mustard.

Very handy if you're out of garlic. Its a plant that basically has these leaves that smell and taste of garlic and you can eat them raw in salads. But you can also lightly boil them and later add a bit of butter to them. Nice!

valkgurl (author)2014-05-15

Some plants like acorns can be eaten if you treat them properly in advance--I don't think an un-treated acorn would kill you but it surely would be too bitter to eat! You have to soak them several times and then roast them to get the bitter tannins out.

Probably the BEST way to know IF plants are edible is to either learn in advance of your wilderness adventure from some one who DOES know about this or at the least get a good clear guide book with PHOTOS of the plants in various phases of their lives---plants can look very different depending on season etc. Then follow how to prep them--some like the acorn can be eaten if certain steps are followed or certain parts can be eaten---think the stems of the rhubarb but NOT the leaves---or made into teas etc.

Some plants are SO toxic (water hemlock etc) that one LEAF can kill you dead. . Poison ivy oak or sumac can cause your throat to swell if eaten or burned and inhaled. And that can kill you. Prickly pear cactus is very good and a great source of water but you need to get ALL the little spines off or you could have a well hydrated corpse. So remember your basic Hunger Games--don't eat those berries just because you are starving and they are pretty.

valkgurl (author)2014-05-15

Some plants like acorns can be eaten if you treat them properly in advance--I don't think an un-treated acorn would kill you but it surely would be too bitter to eat! You have to soak them several times and then roast them to get the bitter tannins out.

Probably the BEST way to know IF plants are edible is to either learn in advance of your wilderness adventure from some one who DOES know about this or at the least get a good clear guide book with PHOTOS of the plants in various phases of their lives---plants can look very different depending on season etc. Then follow how to prep them--some like the acorn can be eaten if certain steps are followed or certain parts can be eaten---think the stems of the rhubarb but NOT the leaves---or made into teas etc.

Some plants are SO toxic (water hemlock etc) that one LEAF can kill you dead. . Poison ivy oak or sumac can cause your throat to swell if eaten or burned and inhaled. And that can kill you. Prickly pear cactus is very good and a great source of water but you need to get ALL the little spines off or you could have a well hydrated corpse. So remember your basic Hunger Games--don't eat those berries just because you are starving and they are pretty.

leon-geyer (author)2014-05-04

As framistan said: good to know, thank you :)

nancyjohns (author)2014-04-27

neat

pantherj12 (author)2014-04-26

Ok, it's just that they can be eaten in the fruit and vegetable food group, so I decided to mention and provide a warning about them.

MonkiMan (author)2014-04-26

can i be neurotic and say that mushrooms are fungi and they are more closly related to animals then plants.

pantherj12 (author)2014-04-25

You're welcome! I love to help people and I hope it finds useful.

framistan (author)2014-04-25

This is very useful information. Never know what the future holds. Might someday be in situation where this would be very good information to have.

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