American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, August 24, 2008


You're in the woods and, in a moment of thoughtlessness, you eat something you haven't positively identified. It could be a mushroom, a berry, or a seed pod.

You have three options if getting to a doctor immediately isn't possible.

Drink as much water as you can drink to dilute the toxins and to flush them out of your body. Filtered and purified water is clearly ideal but if it's not available you can drink unfiltered water. Dealing with giardia or crypto a week after you return is far better than trying to deal with being dead.
Inducing vomiting
Within an hour of ingestion you should be able to stimulate the gag reflex to remove a large portion of the suspect material. Stick out your tongue, lean forward, and reach into your mouth and tickle the back of your throat.
Binding with charcoal
Including some activated charcoal in your first aid kit is not a bad idea (especially if you eat wild plants) as a precaution. If activated charcoal isn't available you can use white ash and water as a substitute. It may induce vomiting and isn't as effective as activated charcoal but it may still save your life.

If, after all of this, you still get sick you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

Clearly it is preferable to positively identify wild edibles before ingesting them but accidents can, and do, happen.

Be prepared.

Thanks for reading,



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