Category: Guide to Edible Wild Plants Part 1

Guide To Edible Wild Plants

Guide To Edible Wild Plants Part

Guide To Edible Wild Plants

Best seller Guide To Edible Wild Plants

wild edible plants: I’ve often heard people say that such and such a plants is “edible.” Well, what exactly does “edible” mean in the con­text of wild foods? If a plane is edible, it’s edible-right?
People generally consider blue elderberry to be an edible plant. You might assume that you can eat its flowers, berries, leaves, and stems-right? But wait! My poisonous plant book says that blue elderberry is poisonous! Hereing lies the problem. You must “know” a so-called edible plant well before you start hearing it. Assuming edibility for a plant or its various parts can be dangerous and even deadly.
Considering the potential confusion, i have created some formal definitions for edible wild plants (also known as wild food plants), poisonous planes, and medicinal plants. These definitions will help you incelligendy navi­gate your way through the world of wild foods.




Edidle Wild Plants Defined: Edible wild plants are endowed with one or more parts that can be used for food if gathered at the appropriate stage of growth and properly prepared. Let divide this definition into meaningful pieces and discuss the significance of each.

 

 

One Or More Parts“: Plants typically have a variety of parts. Seems, leaves, roots, buds, fruits, seeds, and shoots are just a small number of parts that can be found on plants. If a plant is considered edible, that means there is at least one part of the plant  you can eat. But the plant may also have poisonous parts, medicinal parts, woody parts, bitter parts, or parts that are to hairy to use. For instance, all but the cooked underground tuber of the potato plant is poisonous! All but the flowers and the ripe fruit of  blue elderberry (Sambucus canadensis [eastern North America]  Sambucus cerulea [western North America) is poisonous. In reality, potato and elderberry are both edible plants and poisonous plants, so one key to the successful and safe of wild plants for food on the part or parts known to be edible.Generalizing and improvising by eating unspecified parts of plants can be deadly.(Guide To Edible Wild Plants)

Guide To Edible Wild Plants

Raw domesticated potatoes: Raw domesticated potatoes have very small. probably harmless amounts of the toxin that is in the rest of the plant. Cooking destroys most of the remaining toxin and makes the potato more palatable Green potatoes and those producing buds accumulate harmful Concentrations of the toxin that cannot be cooked out. (Guide To Edible Wild Plants Part)

 

Guide To Edible Wild Plants

western blue elderberry ( Sambucus cerulea) This branchlet has fully ripe edible berries.the plant contains cyanide and other toxins in its leaves, stems, branches and bark.(Wild Plants you can eat )

Gathered at the Appropriate Stage Of Growth: Each edible part has its own ideal stage for eating knowing that stage provides the best food, and also keep it safe. Some plant parts become poisonous with maturity like the. Milkweed ( Asclepias syriaca)  Produces a pod containing seeds when the pods are young and tender, and the immature seeds. Are still white the pod is an excellent cooked vegetable but once the seeds start maturing turning brown. the pod is poisonous and that poison  cannot be cooked out. So the bot­tom line is that if you wish to Con­sume a plant part, gather it at its edible stage. Not paying attention to a plant’s various stages of growth can lead to a deadly experience. (Guide to Edible Wild Plants )

Guide To Edible Wild Plants

mature milkweed pod (Asclepias Syriaca). Fully mature poisonous brown seeds are shown here.Milkweed is considered both an edible and a poisonous plant. depending on its stage of growth.

Guide To Edible Wild Plants

Milkweed at its edible stage of growth common milkweed ( Asclepias Syriaca).

Properly Prepared: Some “edible” plant parts may not become truly edible or palat­able unless they are processed in some way. Processing may involve, among other things, physically removing certain parts of a plant (like the seeds from a fruit or the rind of a root), leaching undesirable water-soluble substances out of a plant part (like soaking running out of the acorn), or heating co a certain temperature (like winrer­cress leaves). Even the edible leaves of dandelion in the raw form carry sesquiterpenes and other substances chat, in high enough quantity, can cause excessive urination and diar­rhea. Using them sparingly when raw or boiling them helps to minimize these effects.The biggest and most dan­gerous mistake that you can make when using wild foods is to eat parts of plants not known to be edi­ble. In addition to making a proper identification, you must make sure that only the proper parts are col­lected at the appropriate stages of growth and properly prepared.(Guide to Edible Wild Plants part )

Guide To Edible Wild Plants

Dandelion (Taraxacum)

Guide To Edible Wild Plants

Young pokeweed shoots (Phytolacca americana) most people harvest them at the growth stage shown here. because of the name “poke sallet”, which identifies a common cooked dish served in the south. many novices misundertand salat to mean that greens can be eaten raw. Pokeweed is poisonus raw but becomes edible once cooked properly for that dish


Poisonous Plants Defined: Poisonous plants are endowed with one or more parts having  chemical or physical attributes that can cause acute or underlying injury or death upon ingestion,touch or inhalation. Dosage determines the severity of the damage. Poisons can affect some species differently then others. (Guide to Edible Wild Plants  )

Poison: a chemical from any source that is harmful even in small quantities to living systems

Toxin: a poison originating from plant or animal sources that is. a poison synthesized by living things. Toxins are a class or subset of all poisons

Okay, that was a mouthfull  But if you take this definition piece by piece, it will be easier to grasp.
Poisonous plants have at least one poisonous part. As I’ve said, blue elderbeny has both edible and poisonous parts. Of course, a whole plant can be poisonous. A plane is considered poisonous even if the poison can be cooked or processed out.
Mose people are only familiar with the kind of poison you see in the spy movies, where someone keels over and dies within a few seconds of ingesting that poisoned mar­rini. But toxins found in nature are more clever and diverse than that. Something you’ve eaten may be causing damage to your liver, kidneys, heart, nervous system, or reproduc­tive system, even if it tasted good and you are feeling fine after eating it.

This hidden toxicity demonstrates the difference between an acute toxin and a more subtle or underlying one. An acure toxin is fast-acting and dramatic. You may not die from it, but you feel symptoms as soon as the toxin statrs affecting the body. With an acute toxin, you know that you’ve been poisoned. Symproms may include con­fusion, disorientation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chest pains, arrhyrhmia, cramps, intense sweating, and even death. You may totally recover from an acute toxic inci­dent, you may retain some permanent damage, or you may die from it.

Guide To Edible Wild Plants

jack-in-the pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum). This plant contains calcium oxalate crystals a physical and chemical toxin.

Guide To Edible Wild Plants

Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). Urushiol this plant’s toxin causes a rash on the skin or in the lungs if the smoke from a burning plant is inhaled.

An underlying toxin is one that works at a less obvi­ous level. The Toxin may build up over rime to produce more dramatic symptoms later or may continually dam­age some organ or physiological process, thereby degrading function. lt may also have a temporary effect. That is, your body heals over time if you scop being exposed co ic; or the toxin may cause permanenc damage even if you stop being exposed co ic. An underlying toxin can cause death by damaging vital systems over time. These toxins are the reason you cannot assume that just because a plant part tastes good, it is edible. Many novices and some wild food instructors make this mistake. You must know that a plant is edible from a long tradition of use. Basically, a toxin has to get into your body in order to do damage. Ingestion (eating) is the obvious way to bring a toxin into the body. Certain toxins can enter the body by absorption through the skin, by injection by a plane under the skin, or by inhalation. Poison ivy’s toxin urushiol absorbs through the skin. Urushiol can also be inhaled accidentcally through smoke when one of these plants is being burned.(Guide to Edible Wild Plants