How to avoid poisoning by poisonous plants, mushrooms and berries during survival in an emergency, test the plants for edibility.

The most reliable way to avoid poisoning by poisonous plants, mushrooms and berries, is going to travel, to study in advance poisonous plants, mushrooms and berries found in the area. But what if the beloved plant is not known as edible and at the same time does not appear among the poisonous? Do not eat at all? Well, this is the wisest decision to consider any unfamiliar plant or mushroom known to be poisonous. But experience shows that a starving person does not heed common sense. 

How to avoid poisoning by poisonous plants, mushrooms and berries during survival in an emergency, test the plants for edibility.

If he decided to try an unfamiliar fruit or berry, it can be almost impossible to dissuade him. Therefore, since a person has decided on a risky experiment, this should be done carefully, wisely. First you need to gently rub the cut plant into the skin in the place where it is most tender. For example, from the inside of the arm from the elbow to the armpit. If a burning sensation is felt in the rubbed place or it swells or a rash, redness appears, then the plant should not be eaten.

, immediately identify the product that caused it. Why, using a survey of the victim and, if necessary, group members, find out what was consumed by the patient in the past few hours. Inform the participants of the emergency group about the causes of the poisoning. If someone has already tasted a dubious fetus, they should immediately rinse their stomachs before the onset of signs of poisoning. If the product that caused the poisoning (with complete identity of the nutrition of each member of the group and with obvious signs of poisoning in the victim), it was not possible to identify the preventive washing of the stomachs of the entire group, since collective poisoning in emergency conditions is extremely dangerous.

First aid for poisoning is the most rapid removal of the poison from the body. For this, the victim should be given 4-5 glasses of warm water (preferably 1% solution of soda or 0.1% solution of potassium permanganate). Water liquefies poison, weakens its effect. Then cause a gag reflex by mechanical irritation of the posterior pharyngeal wall. During vomiting, partial removal of the poison from the stomach occurs. Gastric lavage should be repeated several times. Do not induce vomiting if the victim is unconscious. It is recommended to rinse the stomach even a few hours after poisoning. Later, the victim should be given a plentiful drink and warm the lower back. Increased urination helps to remove poison from the body. It is better to destroy the remnants of food, water that the victim consumed, saving a small amount for subsequent analysis.

It is not recommended to eat such plants and mushrooms..

Plants secreting milky (milk-like) juice at the break, as many of them are poisonous.
Mushrooms with an unpleasant odor, having a tuberous thickening at the base, overripe and spoiled. And it’s best to abandon all unfamiliar mushrooms..
Bulbs without a characteristic onion or garlic odor.
The seeds and seeds of the fruit are very often poisonous.
Fruits that are divided into five cloves are often poisonous.
Grass and plants with tiny spines on the root and leaves resembling hairs. Some of them can only be seen in a magnifying glass. When used, they cause irritation of the mucous membrane of the mouth and digestive tract.
Hairy plants (or boil them thoroughly when consumed).
Old, withered leaves of plants (including blueberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, etc.), in which toxic substances can accumulate as they grow older.
Overripe fern.

Old plants generally very often change their chemical composition and become toxic and poisonous. Therefore, for eating, you should always prefer young vegetation. It is undesirable to use plants whose flowers are collected in the form of umbrellas, since among them there are often dangerous ones (though edible too). In all cases, unfamiliar fruits, bulbs, tubers should be boiled for 15-20 minutes. Cooking destroys many organic poisons. It should be remembered that even deliberately edible and tasty plants, eaten in large quantities or for a long time, can become poisonous and cause harm to health. That is why we must try to make the vegetable menu as diverse as possible, combining soups, mashed potatoes, nuts, berries, etc..

Determination of plant edibility by indirect characteristics.

An attentive person can determine an edible plant by indirect signs. Looking around, he will notice the fruits pecked by birds, clusters of droppings on branches and trunks, and on the ground under the tree there are scraps of peel and many seeds. He will see a squirrel or a hedgehog hiding prey, and fruits eaten by land animals, etc. But one cannot absolutely trust this rule, since some animals can eat plants that are unsafe for humans. Moose eat fly agaric to get rid of worms. Rodents, dogs, blackbirds are insensitive to dope and belladonna.

You can also notice that in the northern and temperate zones all the berries, resembling the appearance of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, are safe to eat. True, you should not get carried away with the berry-mushroom menu. Of course, both berries and mushrooms are more familiar as a food product than any root. They, unlike other edible plants, are easy to collect, and the berries are also tasty. However, even the most abundant berry-mushroom harvest cannot compensate for the daily energy loss of the human body.

The energy value of these products is extremely low (no more than 30-40 kcal per 100 g of food mass), so it is almost impossible to get enough of them. The more you collect, the more you feel hungry. Remember how, in childhood, after a great gluttony of strawberries, raspberries or apples, after half an hour, you are unbearably hungry for something more substantial to eat meat, potatoes, at worst, sprinkled with salt on bread. Therefore, clogging the hunger with forest dugouts or blueberries, at the same time it is not out of place to think about how to provide more significant food.

In addition to the direct collection of wild-growing edible plants, they can be obtained by digging holes and storages of small animals. A similar method of food production was widely used by the population of Siberia, Mongolia, the middle lane, etc. For example, in burrows of mice and other small rodents, you can find up to 10 kg and more suitable food products of grain, rhizomes, shoots, etc. The squirrel is capable of collect up to 1.5 thousand mushrooms, chipmunk up to 5 kg of clean, ripe pine nuts or other nuts. You can find animal pantries by observing the behavior of animals, deciphering their tracks, hearing the earth by a stick with a stick, etc..

In studying edible flora, emphasis should be placed on the most valuable nut-bearing and giving the opportunity to bake bread and tortillas plants. And be sure to be able to recognize them alive, and not just in color pictures. I want to conclude the section on wild edible plants with one warning. It’s very dangerous if, after reading it, the reader will have a compassionate and deceptive impression that the forest is the same home garden: come and collect various fruits and vegetables from the beds and eat from the belly, that in emergency conditions you can gain a kilo of weight daily with nuts alone and that dying of hunger in the forest is as difficult as in the basement of a grocery store.

Alas, this is not entirely true. No, I’m not giving up my words: nuts, and aquatic plants, and trees, and so on. Wild species can provide a person with good nutrition. That’s just on the shelves in packaged form they do not lie. They grow in forests, where they must still be managed to find, identify and obtain in sufficient quantities to fill the stomach, which is not always possible. It is very difficult to distinguish fruits that are well recognized in books and on bazaar shelves in real combat conditions, among thousands of other plants. And just as difficult to get. And cook. And eat, because their taste does not quite match the usual taste of cultivated vegetables and fruits.

In addition, only very few edible wild plants have a calorie content sufficient to cover the daily energy deficit. Hence, there can be no talk of complacency! Emergency food is not a trip to the garden. This is an everyday, every minute job. This is a struggle for existence, for which one must be prepared.

Based on the book The Great Encyclopedia of Survival in Extreme Situations.
Andrey Ilyichev.

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