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Home Bushcraft Wild Food Lords and Ladies - What Not to Eat (Arum maculatum)

Lords and Ladies - What Not to Eat (Arum maculatum)

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Justin Telford of NaturalBushcraft shows us what NOT to eat; Lords and Ladies was thought of as being edible a time ago, it's roots needed to be processed before you could eat them, however other parts of the plant are poisonous and the processing of the root probably consumes more energy than you would get from it.
Comments (3)
3 Thursday, 08 March 2012 21:34
I went out walking down a river a few days ago with an experienced bushman. He showed me sea beet, brought it home and put in a curry and it was delicious. I had a good look at the sea beet and tried to commit it to memory. A few days later I went walking alone along a different river and spotted what I was sure was sea beet. I picked it, brought it home, and compared it to pictures on line. I'm not silly enough to go eating random things I find out walking, but I am determined to learn more about natural world around me, so I double checked the description and the pictures, and decided to boil it up and add it to my evening meal. After only a few bites my mouth began to burn, especially under my tongue. After a few more bites I had the overwhelming feeling of "Uh oh, I shouldn't be eating this!" My mouth was burning, my tongue was swollen, my thought was red and swollen, I broke out in a sweat and my face was burning red. I induced vomiting, which wasn't difficult because my stomach also felt pretty unsettled. After a few minutes most of the symptoms subsided and I just felt a little sore around the mouth, and very, very stupid. I took some photos of the left over leaves and sent them to my bushcraft friend, and he informed me they were Arum Maculatum. Now, reading about how poisonous they are I think myself very lucky indeed. My first foray into foraging besides apples and blackberries and I go eating poison leaves, but I live to tell the tale and I certainly have a greater respect for whats growing around me. Knowing what to eat and not what to eat is a skill I will surely devote more time and energy into from now on.
2 Monday, 05 December 2011 16:52
"These attractive red to orange berries are extremely poisonous. The berries contain oxalates of saponins which have needle-shaped crystals which irritate the skin, mouth, tongue, and throat, and result in swelling of throat, difficulty breathing, burning pain, and upset stomach. However, their acrid taste coupled with the almost immediate tingling sensation in the mouth when consumed mean that large amounts are rarely taken and serious harm is unusual. It is one of the most common causes of accidental plant poisoning based on attendance at hospital A & E departments." - From Wikipedia -
1 Saturday, 26 November 2011 15:27
i saw that the birds had eaten some of the berries so i tried one. it tasted surprisingly good. in what way are the berries and leaves poisonous/ what poison what is the effect?

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UK Wild Food - Jan

Listed here are Wild Foods that should be available in parts of the UK in January.

Daisy leaf

Gorse flower
Greater Plantain
Ribwort Plantain
Buck's Horn Plantain (coastal)
Scurvy Grass
Sea beet
Sea Radish
Pennywort (particularly good at the moment)
Alexanders (very good at the moment)
Chirvil (be very careful , as Hemlock Water-Dropwort is starting to sprout now and looks very similar, but is deadly poisonous!)
Sea Purslane
Rock Samphire (still usable, but a bit over now, coastal)
Rose Hips
Common Sorrel
Ivy-Leaved Toadflax
Wood sorrel
Three-cornered leek

*These are just some of the wild edibles you will find in the UK this month.

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