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How to do the Edibility Test on Wild Plants

Think that plant is edible? Because if you’re wrong it could mean death! Know for sure with this edibility test.

In a survival situation, one of the easiest ways to get your nutrients is by gathering plants. 

But how do you know if it's edible? 

Choosing the wrong one could result in illness or even death! 

To know for sure, you need to do an edibility test, which is exactly what you’re going to learn how to do in this article.

Edibility Test Vlog

Skin Contact

The first step in the edibility test is to test it on your skin. 

Get the part of the plant you think might be edible (e.g., the leaf or fruit) and rub it on the underside of your forearm.

What a while to see if it triggers any bad reaction, such as itchiness, redness, swelling, etc. 

If you do experience a negative reaction, the plant is probably not edible. You should discard it. If there is no negative reaction, move on to the next step!


After performing a skin test and ensuring that you have no serious reactions, you can proceed to try it in your mouth.

Rub it on your lips or place a small portion beneath your tongue and wait a few hours to see if anything bad happens. 

Make sure you only do this with a small amount and do it on an empty stomach so you know for sure what causes the bad reaction. 


The final step is to swallow it. 

Again, only do it with a very small amount and on an empty stomach. Wait an hour or so, and if you feel okay, eat more of it. Not lots, but a good amount.

When you experience no negative effects after consuming a good amount of it and waiting 24 hours, you know it's edible and safe.


So that's how you conduct a plant edibility test. Just a reminder to be extra careful when you do this.

Be patient as you work your way through these processes. This might be long but it is always worth it especially when you are in a survival situation.

Remember that different sections of a plant may have different effects on your body. Make sure to test the part you intend to eat.

And of course, it is always better if you have an edible plants guidebook you can use for reference, but don’t trust it completely. Many plants look similar and choosing the wrong one could be fatal.  

If you want to learn more about wilderness survival, you can check out ‘Evasive Wilderness Survival Techniques’.

Remember to stay safe!

Did you find this article about how to know if plants are edible useful? If so, please share it with your friends.

Article by Sam Fury

Sam Fury 3 png
Sam Fury 3 png

Sam Fury is the creator and owner of the Survival Fitness Plan.

He has had a passion for martial arts and outdoor pursuits since he was a young boy growing up in Australia.

As a young adult he joined the military and studied outdoor leadership in college. After that, to further his skills, Sam started traveling to learn from the best in the world in various fields related to the Survival Fitness Plan including various martial arts in China, SE Asia and Brazil, Parkour in Singapore, Surf Life Saving in Australia, and others. 

These days, he still enjoys learning new things, traveling and sharing what he has learned via the Survival Fitness Plan. 

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