Wild plants that can literally save your life in the wilderness

Doug Williams
 

One thing that you may find in abundance in case you find yourself stranded in wilderness is wild plants, hundreds of them.

 

It is extremely crucial to have some knowledge of  wild plants about their composition and their effect on human body. It is of course unlike going to your local supermarket where you can simply walk in and pick your favourite products, in the wild your life depends on small choices. And what you put in your mouth in the wild is of crucial significance as one wrong decision could result in a painful death. Following is the list of some of most commonly found wild plants in the woods that you can eat to save your life.

Blackberries

Ragesoss - Own work CC BY-SA 3.0

Ragesoss – Own work
CC BY-SA 3.0

There is a whole group of wild berries most of which are not suitable for human consumption as they are highly poisonous. However, wild blackberries are 100% safe and edible and are fairly easy to spot in the wild. Found abundantly, blackberries must not be confused with raspberries. The main difference between the two is that blackberries’ stem comes off the branch whereas raspberries do not stem out. Another distinct feature of blackberries is that their branches are red with long thorns on them, with 5-petaled white flowers.

Plantain

Plantain can easily be found in many parts of the world; in the US you can see these plants sprouting nearly in all states. Plantain basically belongs to weed family and can be eaten. The broadleaf plantain carries green leaves that are oval shaped, with thick stems. Out from the stem grow the pointed green flowers. Pick the green leaves and eat them raw or cook them on fire.

Wild bee balm

Daniel Gross - Own work CC BY-SA 4.0

Daniel Gross – Own work
CC BY-SA 4.0

Wild bee balm also known as the wild bergamot is also widely found all over America and is normally found in the form of large clumps. The plant has a very distinct feature that it typically grows tall up to 3 feet in height with erect branches. The leaves on these plants are no more than 3 inches long, pointed and toothed. A cluster of flower can be found at the end of each branch. The flowers of wild bee balm are mostly lavender (or even a light pink shade) in colour. Both the leaves and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked and can also be used to prepare tea.

Pineapple weed

By Ivar Leidus - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Ivar Leidus – Own work CC BY-SA 3.0,

 

Pineapple weed is commonly mistaken for chamomile, however, when crushed chamomile does not produce a strong pineapple smell and this plant does. This weed commonly grows in a drier land often sandy locations of the wilderness are the home of pineapple weed. The leaves of the weed are essentially hairless and give the impression of feathers and are about an inch in length. The only drawback with pineapple weed is that it is considered a very low growing wild weed. Both the leaves and flowers are edible and can be used for tea.

Amaranth

Kurt Stüber CC BY-SA 3.0

Kurt Stüber CC BY-SA 3.0

Despite the fact that these plants grow in the wilderness, Amaranth are considered one of the most delicious wild plants. Typically, an Amaranth plant can grow as tall as 35 to 59 inches. The leave on the plants alternates with a dense bunch of flowers at the top. The seeds are either black or brown. Almost every bit of this wild plant is safe to consume, however, make sure you don’t chew on the sharp spines of the leaves; that will definitely hurt your teeth.

 

 
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