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Plant Edibility Test
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Plant Edibility Test


The following guidelines for edibility are for use when gatehring and consuming wild foods.  Memorize these rules and carry a written set in your Bug-Out Bag and backpack. 

Remember, even the most experienced survivalist cannot remember all edible and poisonous foods.

Only one person should complete the whole test. 


Plant Edibility Test

Inspect:  Try to identify.  Avoid slimy or worm-eaten items.  Old, withered plants are not worth the risk.

Smell:  Take a small portion of the plant and crush it.  Discard if it smells like bitter almonds or peaches.

Skin Irritation:  Squeeze some juice or rub slightly on tender skin (like under upper arm).  If any discomfort including rash or swelling occurs - discard.

Lips, Mouth, Tongue:  If there is no irritation so far, proceed to the following steps waiting 30 seconds between each to check that there is no reaction:

  • Place a small amount on lips
  • Place a small amount in corner of mouth
  • Place a small amount on tip of tongue
  • Chew a small portion

In all cases, if any irritation or discomfort is experienced like stinging or burning, throat irritation or swelling - discard.

Swallow:  Ingest a small amount and wait five hours.  Do not eat or drink anything else during this time.

Eating:  If no reactions such as mouth soreness, stomach or abdominal pains, repeated belching or nausea are experienced, the plant may be considered safe.

Should stomach trouble occur, drink plenty of hot water; do not eat again until the pain goes.  If it is severe, induce vomiting by tickling the back of throat.  Swallowing charcoal also induces vomiting and can absorb the poison at the same time.  White wood ash mixed to a paste with water will relieve stomach pain too.