Plants to Avoid in a Survival Situation

As you know, in a disaster situation, food is one of the few key things that you have to have to survive. Maybe you have a bug out bag already stocked with MREs. Maybe you have a garden already producing at your bug out location. Maybe you’re a hunter and confident in your ability to get food from any wooded area.

But maybe not.

If you’re not already prepared, you’ll have to scrounge and look for food, and, in this situation, being able to tell if a plant is safe to eat is vital. The first thing to consider is what to avoid because you obviously want to avoid plants that are unsafe to eat. recommends that you avoid the following plants:

  • Mushrooms that you are not familiar with.
  • Any plants growing near contaminated water.
  • Plants with shiny leaves.
  • Plants with groups of three leaves.
  • Plants that create a stinging sensation when touched.
  • Plants with a foul odor.
  • Any plants that have a bitter or soapy flavor.
  • Plants that have a milky sap in the stems.
  • Beans, bulbs or seeds which grow inside pods. While some of these are safe to eat, proportionally there‚Äôs a greater chance of danger from them.
  • Any grains with pink, purplish or black spurs.

The reason why some of these plants should be avoided will be obvious. It’s not clear that a mushroom is safe or poisonous without knowing the types of mushrooms. Plants growing near contaminated water are going to absorb the contaminates in that water. If it stings when you touch it, it has toxins on the surface of the plant, so that can be known readily. Plants with three leaves are often part of the poison ivy/poison oak varieties. The name says it all.

Other reasons are going to be less obvious if you aren’t already familiar with those plants. For example, you may be unfamiliar with why to avoid plants with white sap. Unfortunately, a number of these plants are poisonous. An example is oleander whose sap is not poisonous to touch but is poisonous if ingested. All parts of poppies (which have white sap) are poisonous. Common milkweed has a milky sap and is poisonous when ingested. While there are other plants such as papaya which are not poisonous, but it may be better to be safe than sorry and simply avoid all plants with white sap.

For the safety of both yourself and your family, please take care to avoid plants which could be harmful so that you can focus on gathering plants that can be healthy to ingest. What other plants to you avoid? Tell us below.