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The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills

Poisonous plants are everywhere. They’re in the woods, the forests, and the mountains. In fact, some of them may even be in your garden. This makes bugging out look like a dangerous proposition when the SHTF. These plants would not cause harm if you did not eat or touch them. As you read our guide, you will realize that it is actually simple and easy to avoid these poisonous plants. Just stick to your regular food and avoid the bitter stuff. Check out the guide to help identify dangerous flora and avoid getting sick in the wilderness.

A Guide to Poisonous Plants for Everyone!

1. Aconite (Aconitum spp.)

Aconite (Aconitum spp.) Photo by Cedar Valley Arboretum

A guide to poisonous plants would not be complete without the garden monkshood or aconite.

2. Agave/Century Plant (Agave spp.)

Agave/Century Plant (Agave spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Agave/Century Plant (Agave spp.) Photo by Homeguides

Poisonous plants can be found almost everywhere like the agave which is often used for landscaping.

3. Almond Seeds (Prunus spp.)

Almond Seeds (Prunus spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Almond Seeds (Prunus spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

Bitter almonds contain amygdalin and prunasin, which are cyanogenic compounds. The type of almonds you find at the grocer are sweet almonds, which are safe to eat.

4. Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia spp.)

Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia spp.) Photo by The Valiens

More often than not, beautiful flora turns out to be poisonous plants like the angel's trumpet which belongs to the toxic plant family, Solanaceae.

5. Apple Seeds (Malus spp.)

Apple Seeds (Malus spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Apple Seeds (Malus spp.) Photo by Medical News Today

We included apples in this list of poisonous plants because of the toxins found in the seeds. The seeds have to be chewed so hard, though, for the toxins to be released.

6. Apricot seeds (Prunus spp.)

Apricot seeds (Prunus spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Apricot seeds (Prunus spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

You wouldn't think of the apricot as one of the poisonous plants but once again, the seeds or kernel are toxic.

7. Autumn Crocus/Meadow Saffron (Colchicum autumnale)

Autumn Crocus/Meadow Saffron (Colchicum autumnale) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Autumn Crocus/Meadow Saffron (Colchicum autumnale) Photo by Nova Scotia

Some of its common names may be amusing but make no mistake, meadow saffrons are still poisonous plants.

8. Azalea (Rhododendron spp.)

Azalea (Rhododendron spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Azalea (Rhododendron spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

The azalea is positively one of the most poisonous plants, so poisonous in fact that honey made from them can still be toxic.

9. Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)

Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) Photo by Bio Brandeis

Its name alone will tell you bittersweets are one of those poisonous plants you should avoid.

10. Black Cherry Seeds (Prunus serotina)

Black Cherry Seeds (Prunus serotina) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Black Cherry Seeds (Prunus serotina) Photo by Plants

Poisonous plants tend to make the fruit and only the fruit edible to animals and man. Black cherry seeds or pits may look edible but only animals can consume them without harm.

11. Black Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger)

Black Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Black Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) Photo by Wikipedia

The black henbane makes it to the list of poisonous plants because it has caused coma in some cases.

12. Black Locust Seeds (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Black Locust Seeds (Robinia pseudoacacia) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Black Locust Seeds (Robinia pseudoacacia) Photo by Wikipedia

When it comes to poisonous plants, always remember that death is possible. The seeds of the black locust are one example.

13. Black Nightshade (Solanum spp.)

Black Nightshade (Solanum spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Black Nightshade (Solanum spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

Almost all members of the nightshade family are poisonous plants, including the black nightshade.

14. Cardinal Flower/Lobelia (Lobelia spp.)

Cardinal Flower/Lobelia (Lobelia spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Cardinal Flower/Lobelia (Lobelia spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

There is more to the bright red color than being similar to a cardinal's robe, and that is toxicity.

15. Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)

Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) Photo by Wikipedia

Some poisonous plants look like other harmless varieties. The Carolina jessamine looks a lot like honeysuckle.

16. Carolina Laurel Cherry (Prunus caroliniana)

Carolina Laurel Cherry (Prunus caroliniana) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Carolina Laurel Cherry (Prunus caroliniana) Photo by Wild Flower

This is one of the most poisonous plants because of its hydrocyanic acid content, a type of cyanide.

17. Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)

Castor Bean (Ricinus communis) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Castor Bean (Ricinus communis) Photo by Wikipedia

Castor oil may be used in alternative medicine, but the beans make it one of the most common poisonous plants.

18. Cestrum/Jessamines (Cestrum spp.)

Cestrum/Jessamines (Cestrum spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Cestrum/Jessamines (Cestrum spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

The Cestrum jessamines are some of the poisonous plants that have berries which are toxic whether green or ripe.

19. Cherry Seeds (Prunus spp.)

Cherry Seeds (Prunus spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Cherry Seeds (Prunus spp.) Photo by ASPCA

The luscious cherry may surprise you that it made the poisonous plants list, but the seeds are quite toxic.

20. Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)

Chinaberry (Melia azedarach) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Chinaberry (Melia azedarach) Photo by To Do Landscape

Apart from being one of the poisonous plants, the chinaberry tree has also become a nuisance to the country's landscape.

21. Chinese Lantern (Physalis spp.)

Chinese Lantern (Physalis spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Chinese Lantern (Physalis spp.) Photo by Colorado State University

Most poisonous plants are attractive and the Chinese lantern is one of them.

22. Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) Photo by USDA

It's always a good thing to name plants based on what they are, poisonous plants. Chokecherry is both toxic to human and animals.

23. Climbing lily (Gloriosa spp.)

Climbing lily (Gloriosa spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Climbing lily (Gloriosa spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

The climbing lily is one of the poisonous plants which contain colchicine. It's one of the poisonous houseplants to watch out for.

24. Columbine/Granny's Bonnet (Aquilegia)

Columbine/Granny's Bonnet (Aquilegia) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Columbine/Granny's Bonnet (Aquilegia) Photo by The Poison Diaries

Poisonous plants like the Columbine can be eaten after cooking or drying but the improper intake can be dangerous.

25. Corn cockle (Agrostemma githago)

Corn cockle (Agrostemma githago) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Corn cockle (Agrostemma githago) Photo by Wikipedia

Corncockle is one of the poisonous plants with pretty flowers you need to be cautious of.

26. Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster spp.)

Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster spp.) Photo by ESC

Cyanogenic glycosides in poisonous plants like the cotoneaster are converted to cyanide during digestion.

27. Crabapple seeds (Malus spp.)

Crabapple seeds (Malus spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Crabapple seeds (Malus spp.) Photo by Live Strong

Crabapples are similar to apples, poisonous plants whose toxins are found in the seeds.

28. Crow’s Poison/False Garlic (Nothoscordum bivalve)

Crow’s Poison/False Garlic (Nothoscordum bivalve) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Crow’s Poison/False Garlic (Nothoscordum bivalve) Photo by Wild Flower

Poisonous plants resemble edible plants and in this case, crow poison looks like garlic.

29. Daphne (Daphne spp.)

Daphne (Daphne spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Daphne (Daphne spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

Like some poisonous plants, the bark, sap, and berries of Daphne have the most toxins.

30. Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna)

Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) Photo by Wikipedia

Of all the poisonous plants to humans, the deadly nightshade is one of the most popular.

31. Death camas (Zigadenus spp.)

Death camas (Zigadenus spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Death camas (Zigadenus spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

Most parts of poisonous plants have toxins in them, like the death camas.

32. Dogbanes (Apocynum spp)

Dogbanes (Apocynum spp) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Dogbanes (Apocynum spp) Photo by Wikipedia

Dogbanes are poisonous plants found all over the country.

33. Doll's-eyes/White baneberry (Actaea pachypoda)

Doll's-eyes/White baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Doll's-eyes/White baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) Photo by Bio Brandeis

Some poisonous plants like the doll's eye give away the fact from their looks alone.

34. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia sp.)

Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia sp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia sp.) Photo by Wikipedia

The dumb cane stands out among poisonous plants because of its tongue-swelling effect.

35. Elderberry (Sambucus spp.)

Elderberry (Sambucus spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Elderberry (Sambucus spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

The elderberry is yet another one of those poisonous plants containing toxic alkaloids.

36. English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)

English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) Photo by Nelson Nursery

Some poisonous plants are invasive and the English laurel is an example.

37. English Yew Seeds (Taxus baccata)

English Yew Seeds (Taxus baccata) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
English Yew Seeds (Taxus baccata) Photo by Berlin Plants

While the leaves of the yew are more toxic, the seeds are poisonous just the same.

38. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) Photo by Higgledy Garden

Some of the most beautiful things in this world are also some of the most dangerous, like the foxgloves.

39. Holly Berries (Ilex spp.)

Holly Berries (Ilex spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Holly Berries (Ilex spp.) Photo by Pins Daddy

It may not be as toxic as the other poisonous plants but it has more victims.

40. Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) Photo by Blankees

Unfortunately, lovely hydrangeas are one of the toxic houseplants to watch out for.

41. Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica)

Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica) Photo by NCSU

Never eat the flowers, fruit, and leaves of poisonous plants like the Japanese pieris.

42. Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum)

Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum) Photo by Wikipedia

The Jerusalem cherry belongs to the nightshade family of poisonous plants.

43. Jimson Weed (Brugmansia spp.)

Jimson Weed (Brugmansia spp.)| The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Jimson Weed (Brugmansia spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

This weed is one of the toxic plants which are deadly if you eat its fruit, drink its juice, or even the tea from it.

44. Juniper (Juniperus sabina)

Juniper (Juniperus sabina)| The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Juniper (Juniperus sabina) Photo by Wikipedia

Take extra precaution when handling juniper for your holiday decorations, especially the species Juniper sabina.

45. Lambkill (Kalmia angustifolia)

Lambkill (Kalmia angustifolia)| The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Lambkill (Kalmia angustifolia) Photo by Wikipedia

Lambkill is one of the poisonous plants which induces coma and death.

46. Lantana (Lantana camara)

Lantana (Lantana camara)| The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Lantana (Lantana camara) Photo by Wikipedia

Some poisonous plants like the lantana are popular among gardeners.

47. Larkspur (Delphinium spp.)

Larkspur (Delphinium spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Larkspur (Delphinium spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

The larkspur is a member of the monkshood family of poisonous plants.

48. Loquat seeds (Eriobotrya japonica)

Loquat seeds (Eriobotrya japonica) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Loquat seeds (Eriobotrya japonica) Photo by Wikipedia

Poisonous plants have deadly effects like the seeds of the loquat.

49. Madagascar Periwinkle (Vinca rosea)

Madagascar Periwinkle (Vinca rosea) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Madagascar Periwinkle (Vinca rosea) Photo by The Poison Garden

While vinca is known for it its medicinal attributes, excess in consumption can be dangerous.

50. Manchineel (Hippomane mancinella)

Manchineel (Hippomane mancinella) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Manchineel (Hippomane mancinella) Photo by Wikipedia

Of all the world's poisonous plants, the manchineel holds the title for the most dangerous.

51. Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)

Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) Photo by Wikipedia

Marsh marigold is one of the toxic plants to avoid when you're in the marshes.

52. Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) Photo by NCSU

Avoid eating the fruit of poisonous plants like those of the Mayapple.

53. Moonseed plant (Menispermum canadense)

Moonseed plant (Menispermum canadense) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Moonseed plant (Menispermum canadense) Photo by Wikipedia

Some poisonous plants look like the edible variety so be very careful.

54. Morning glory seeds (Ipomoea spp.)

Morning glory seeds (Ipomoea spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Morning glory seeds (Ipomoea spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

When you learn about these toxic plants, it's easy to see that the seeds are dangerous.

55. Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) Photo by Wikipedia

When you see poisonous plants like the mountain laurel, stay back.

56. Natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa)

Natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa) Photo by Eat The Weeds

Only the ripe fruit or the natal plum is edible, the rest are poisonous.

57. Nectarine seeds (Prunus spp.)

Nectarine seeds (Prunus spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Nectarine seeds (Prunus spp.) Photo by Good Housekeeping

Like some other poisonous plants, nectarine seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides.

58. Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Oleander (Nerium oleander) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Oleander (Nerium oleander) Photo by Wikipedia

Stay away from the oleander plant because its sap alone is deadly.

59. Peach Seeds (Prunus spp.)

Peach Seeds (Prunus spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Peach Seeds (Prunus spp.) Photo by LA Times

Yes, even the seeds of peaches can be toxic so just enjoy the fruit.

60. Plum Seeds (Prunus spp.)

Plum Seeds (Prunus spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Plum Seeds (Prunus spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

It can never be stressed enough how dangerous it can be when you eat the toxic seeds even from your favorite fruits.

61. Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) Photo by Wikipedia

This is yet another notorious member of the hemlock family of poisonous plants.

62. Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) Photo by Homesteading

Poisonous plants of the Toxicodendron genus have urushiol. A mere brush of this toxic plant can send you to the hospital, so learn how to identify poison ivy here.

63. Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum)

Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Poison Oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) Photo by Survival Life

Like poison ivy and poison sumac, the poison oak releases the allergen urushiol.

64. Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix)

Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) Photo by Wikipedia

Among the poisonous plants in its family, the poison sumac is the rarest.

65. Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) Photo by Wikipedia

Like most poisonous plants, every part of the pokeweed is toxic.

66. Potato (Solanum tuberosum)

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Photo by Wikipedia

Possibly the most beneficial of all poisonous plants, there is only one part of the potato which is safe to eat.

67. Rattlebox (Daubentonia punicea)

Rattlebox (Daubentonia punicea) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Rattlebox (Daubentonia punicea) Photo by Daves Garden

Although the seed pods of rattlebox or purple sesbane look like vegetables, the seeds are toxic when taken.

68. Red Squill (Drimia maritima)

Red Squill (Drimia maritima) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Red Squill (Drimia maritima) Photo by Flora Finder

There is no doubt about the red squill's toxicity as it is used to get rid of rodents.

69. Rosary Pea (Abrus precatorius)

Rosary Pea (Abrus precatorius) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Rosary Pea (Abrus precatorius) Photo by Wikipedia

Although the rosary pea is toxic, the seeds find good use in jewelry.

70. Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)

Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) Photo by Wikipedia

These beauties are toxic plants with toxins in every part.

71. Mistletoe or Viscum

Mistletoe or Viscum | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Mistletoe or Viscum Photo by Wikipedia

A kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas is enlivening but eating the toxic fruits might as well be the kiss of death!

72. Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) Photo by Wikipedia

Compared to other poisonous plants, tobacco or nicotiana does not need any introduction.

73. Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) Photo by Wikipedia

Raw berries from poisonous plants such as the toyon should never be eaten.

74. Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca)

Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca) Photo by Wikipedia

Just because its name has the word tobacco doesn't mean you can chew or smoke this plant. Its leaves are fatal when ingested.

75. Water hemlock (Cicuta spp.)

Water hemlock (Cicuta spp.) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Water hemlock (Cicuta spp.) Photo by Wikipedia

According to most sources, water hemlock is the most lethal of all poisonous plants. Its lethal toxins are concentrated in the roots.

76. White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)

White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) Photo by Wikipedia

Poisonous plants like the white snakeroot contain cyanogenetic chemicals. Livestock who consumed this plant passed the poison to humans through milk which is called milk poisoning.

77. Wintersweet (Acokanthera spectabilis)

Wintersweet (Acokanthera spectabilis) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
Wintersweet (Acokanthera spectabilis) Photo by Sunshine Seeds

There's nothing sweet about the wintersweet except perhaps for its lovely flowers. You still need to avoid it, though.

78. English Yew (Taxus baccata)

English Yew (Taxus baccata) | The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills
English Yew (Taxus baccata) Photo by Wikipedia

Don't be fooled by the inviting fruits of this holiday plant–its one of the deadliest among all poisonous plants. The English or European Yew have leaves which are more toxic than the seeds.

Mushrooms are forager's favorite but many of its species are poisonous and even deadly. Watch this video from mycogypsy for your basic guide to identifying edible and poisonous mushrooms:

Don’t eat anything unfamiliar and make sure you have an adequate body covering when you’re out there. Wear thick or insulated clothing as well as tough and durable boots. Never assume when you saw an animal eat a plant, you can eat it, too. Identifying poisonous plants may be a daunting task especially in emergency situations, but remember your goal is to survive.

Have you had any encounters with any of these poisonous plants? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Up Next: How to Find Edible Plants in the Wild

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 23, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman

Learn to make your own homemade weapons so you’ll have a fighting chance in a survival situation where all you have is nature.

 [You Get One FREE] Weird Little Knife Drives TSA Crazy!

How to Make Homemade Weapons

Why Should You Learn to Make Homemade Weapons?

Let’s say you got lost in the wild, and you somehow forgot or lost your Cold Steel Leatherneck Tanto 39LSFT (or whichever is the best survival knife for you). What do you do?

While your situation is most likely not quite as bad as Tom Hanks had it in Castaway, let’s face it. The only way you’re gonna get out of this situation in good shape is to let out your inner caveman.

Let me explain. Our very primitive ancestors lived in a time when every day was a survival situation. Any tools or weapons they needed had to be made from scratch.

So, should you be unlucky enough to have only the shirt on your back while you’re lost in the wilderness, you’ll have to follow suit. Let the training of your inner caveman begin.

Today’s lesson: how to make DIY weapons in the wild with only the resources nature provided you.

How to Make a Knife | Homemade Weapons

Having a knife, any kind of knife is probably one of the best things to happen should you suddenly find yourself in a survival situation. You can use it to help you find food, build a shelter, and defend yourself against wild animals.

So it’s highly fortunate nature is waiting like a momma at a craft table with lots of materials you can use to create one.

1. Stone Knives

Bone, shell, bamboo, wood, or even an old aluminum beer can may work to perform the puncturing function of a blade. You know you’ve seen these a million times when you’re out hiking.

They’re easy to crack or break or shape into a fairly sharp point which will do in a pinch. Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to use a chicken bone or an expertly-shaped aluminum can point to skin, chop, baton, or any of the other necessary functions of a survival knife.

This is where the stone comes into play. I’ll start by saying making a knife out of stone isn’t easy, but it can be done.

You’ll need three things: a core rock, a hammerstone, and a pressure flaker. Remember, you’re going to be smashing these together in true caveman fashion.

So, having stones you can reasonably grip in each hand is going to make your life a lot easier. Although, it’s definitely an option to stand poised over one rock smashing down on it.

You, with a two-hand grip, pounding until you’ve chipped away at it a bit. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

2. The Core Rock

rock formation background | Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman | homemade weapons | deadliest ancient weapons

The core rock is what you’ll be making into a blade. Find any large stone, preferably made from obsidian, slate, chert, or flint with a relatively flat side.

In case you weren’t a rock collector in any of your previous lives, here’s another way to decide if a rock meets the requirements for good knife-making material. Tap or click a rock together with another rock and listen for a ringing sound (like glass).

The more rock sounds like glass, the better it is as a material for your core rock. If you can, choose a rock which is already a bit sharp to reduce the amount of time you’ll need to shape it.

3. The Hammerstone

The hammerstone is a medium-sized, spherical rock, preferably made of granite. It will be used to smash, chisel, chip and shape the core rock.

You’ll be using it to chip off pieces of the core stone and to narrow the edges to a blade shape.

RELATED: How To Keep Your Edge | Knife Sharpener

4. The Pressure Flaker

The pressure flaker, or flaking tool, is a rock with a sharp point to help you refine the blade’s edges. You’ll use your flaking tool after you’ve thinned the edges of the stone with the hammer stone to make the “blade” sharper.

When you start making your knife, you’ll want to be sure to wet the core stone to shorten the time it takes to shape it into a blade. Begin by striking glancing blows near the edge of the core rock with the hammerstone.

Chip away at the core rock until you get the general shape of a blade. Then, use the flaking tool to refine the edges you need to sharpen.

You can also use a stone with a rough surface such as a sandstone to sharpen the edge. Use some rope, cloth, or leather to lash the base and create a handle.

If you are having troubling shaping the rock into a knife, you can opt to create stone blades instead. Check out the videos below to learn how:

Part One:

Part Two:

How to Make a Spear | Homemade Weapons

south african zulu spear | Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman | homemade weapons | deadliest ancient weapons

We’ve talked about how to make a spear using your best survival knife in a previous article. The same principle applies here.

Even without your Cold Steel Leatherneck Tanto 39LSFT or whichever survival knife you normally bring with you, you can still make a spear using your newly made stone knife. To make a spear, you’ll need to find a five-foot-long stick tough enough to endure repeated short or long-distance throws.

  1. First, pick the end of the stick which has a more rounded tip and use your stone knife to start shaving to create a spear. Once you’re done, be sure to heat the spear over some hot coals to make your spear sharper.
  2. As an alternative, you can also make a spear by tying your knife onto a stick. Find a stick which is about an inch wide.
  3. Measure about 2 inches from one end of the stick. Mark the point, then split the stick into two until you reach the 2-inch mark, creating a sort of Y shape.
  4. This will create a space where you can stick your stone knife before you lash it on with some twine, cord, or rope. To lock the blade in place, put some moss or lichen in the remaining space.
  5. If you haven’t had time to fashion your knife out of stone yet, you can also use broken pieces of shell or glass or splintered bamboo or bone and secure it to the end of your stick.
  6. If you find a way to split your stick without a knife, you can insert the splintered bone or bamboo into the wedge and tie it off like you would when turning a knife into a spear.

How to Make a Weighted Club | Homemade Weapons

While sharp pointy tools are all well and good, you can never go wrong with a blunt homemade weapon. You can use it for hammering or bludgeoning something such as a weighted club.

The weighted club could be one of the deadliest ancient weapons. To make one, you’ll need the following: a piece of wood around 14-16 inches, a medium-sized rock, and some rope.

  1. Once you have all the materials, you’ll need to wrap some lashing 6-8 inches from the end of the stick.
  2. Split the same end until you reach the lashing in order to create a V-shaped notch. The rock you picked out should be shorter than the length of the split.
  3. Insert the stone then lash it securely (above, below, and across the stone). The lashing on the stick above the stone clamps both sides of the split together providing the first point of security, so it’s especially important to create a good, tight lashing above the stone.
  4. You’ll want to make sure you bind the split ends securely so the stone won’t fall off whenever you use it to hammer or pound on something.

This video from Wannabe Bushcrafter will show you how to make a bamboo knife:

Now, hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation where making homemade weapons is going to be a necessity for survival. But, if you do find yourself in such a quagmire, this little bit of information and inner caveman training may be what saves your life.

Which of these homemade weapons do you want to make? Tell us your progress in the comments section below!

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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 11, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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5 Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

Know these home remedies for chigger bites, or better yet, avoid the bug's bites in the first place with helpful tips included here!

RELATED: Top Ways to Deal with Insects [Especially Mosquitos]

In this article:

  1. What Is a Chigger, Exactly?
  2. Where Do Chiggers Live?
  3. Identifying Chiggers Bites
  4. Home Remedies for Chigger Bites
  5. Tips to Avoid Chigger Bites and Chigger Bites Infection

Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

What Is a Chigger, Exactly?

Chiggers are members of the arachnid family. They are extremely tiny, and my guess is you won’t even see them as they jump from the tall grass onto your skin and/or clothing.

Adult chiggers are about 1/60 of an inch and have eight legs. The larvae are red, wingless, six-legged creatures which measure less than 1/150 of an inch.

Because of their red color, you might be able to spot the larvae when they cluster together, especially on white clothing.

What Is the Arachnid Family? It is a large group or class of invertebrate animals where the spiders and scorpions belong.

Where Do Chiggers Live?

Chiggers reside in tall weeds and grass, berry patches, and wooded areas. They could be in your backyard, by the lake, or your favorite hiking trail.

They are most active in summer and fall afternoons – the warmest part of the day.

Identifying Chiggers Bites

Only the larvae bite humans and they tend to choose warm, moist areas of the body.

Chiggers also have claws which help them grab onto your skin. The chigger then attaches its mouth to the skin and injects saliva.

The saliva contains an enzyme which breaks skin cells down to liquid form. Your body responds by hardening skin cells around the saliva, creating a tube (cyclostome) through which the chigger sucks the dissolved skin cells.

Chiggers can stay attached and feeding for several days before falling off.

When the chigger falls off, you are left with reddish bumps. You may notice a bright red dot in the center—this is a remnant of the tube your skin formed in response to the chigger's saliva.

The bumps may look like welts, blisters, pimples, or hives. Bites generally appear in groups and get larger for several days to a week.

While many insects bite exposed skin which is easy to get to, chiggers like to bite in folds of skin as well as places where clothing fits tightly on the skin. Most chigger bites occur around the ankles, waist, armpits, crotch, or behind the knees.

Home Remedies for Chigger Bites

Just remember, no matter what, DO NOT SCRATCH THE BITES! I know, easier said than done. But, breaking the skin on a chigger bite can lead to infection.

Here are 5 home remedies to help with the itching and swelling.

RELATED: Spider Bite? Here’s How To Treat It

1. Vicks Vapor Rub

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Vicks Vapor Rub can put an end to itchy chigger bites immediately and will even reduce the risk of blisters. It’s the cooling menthol in it which relieves itching by affecting itch receptors in the skin.

Steps:

  • Take a hot shower (use antibacterial soap.) Pat dry your skin with a soft towel.
  • Take a small amount of the vapor rub and add some table salt to it.
  • Mix well and apply to the affected area.
  • Repeat if the swelling continues (otherwise, there is no need to repeat the process)

2. Cold Compress

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A cold compress can help reduce the itching associated with chigger bites. Its numbing effect helps reduce the sensation of itchiness.

Steps:

  • Wrap some ice cubes in a thin cloth.
  • Apply the compress to the bites for 10 minutes. Repeat if needed to relieve itching.

3. Baking Soda

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Baking soda is another effective remedy to reduce rashes as well as itchiness. It acts as a natural acid neutralizer which helps relieve itching and reduces the risk of infection.

Steps:

  • Add 1 cup of baking soda to a bathtub filled with cool water.
  • Stir well and soak in this water for 15 minutes and pat your skin with a soft towel. (Do this once daily)

Another remedy using baking soda:

  • Prepare a thin paste of 2 teaspoons of baking soda and a little water.
  • Apply the paste on the affected areas and leave it on for about 10 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with cool water.

Note: Do not use this remedy more than once or twice a day. Never use baking soda on broken skin or open wounds.

4. Oatmeal

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Oatmeal contains anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties providing instant relief from itching–one of the common symptoms of chigger bites. It is recommended to use colloidal oatmeal, meaning oats which are ground into an extremely fine powder.

(You can accomplish this yourself by grinding regular oats in a sealed Ziploc bag, using the backside of a spoon to crush the oatmeal.)

Steps:

  • Add 1 cup of colloidal oatmeal to a bathtub filled with warm water
  • Stir thoroughly
  • Soak in this mixture for at least 15-20 minutes
  • Repeat 2-3 times a day

5. Olive Oil

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Olive oil can also be used to get relief from the irritation and inflammation. It is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants which reduce itching and facilitate healing.

Steps:

  • After rinsing the affected area with water, apply olive oil to the chigger bite.
  • Reapply several times a day.

Another option using olive oil:

  • Mix a few drops of tea tree oil in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and apply on the affected area.
  • Repeat a few times a day.

Tips to Avoid Chigger Bites and Chigger Bites Infection

As summer and fall are prime time for chigger bites, it is best to take the following precautions:

  1. When hiking, stay in the center of the trail and avoid brushing up against vegetation.
  2. Wear long sleeves and long pants when going into the woods.
  3. Apply mosquito repellent on your hands, feet, and exposed skin on your arms before going outside.
  4. Shower immediately after being outdoors and use antibacterial soap.
  5. Wash your clothes in hot water.
  6. Resist the urge to scratch because breaking the skin on chigger bites can lead to a possible infection.

This video from Online Pest Control will show you tips to avoid chiggers and ways to get rid of chiggers:

Chigger bites much like other insect bites aren't only discomforting, they can be dangerous too. Many of these insects including chiggers carry diseases in some cases.

The best way to deal with these bugs is to avoid them or control them with our tips here. But, if you're so unlucky, you also now know the best home remedies to chigger bites!

Have you had to deal with chigger bites before? Tell us how, including more useful tips which worked for you in the comments section below!

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Go to our Survival Life Store to shop some of our favorites self-defense tools and gear!

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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Home Remedies For Chigger Bites | https://survivallife.com/5-home-remedies-for-chigger-bites/

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 28, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

This Article Was First Found at survivallife.com Read The Original Article Here

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9 Good Reasons To Carry A “Survival Stick”

Arm yourself with a survival stick, get savvy with it, but first, find out why as you read on!

RELATED: Deadly Parasols | Umbrella As A Self-Defense Weapon

In this article:

  1. Survival Hiking Stick
  2. Survival Stick for Support
  3. Fetching/Reaching Things
  4. Walking Staff Weapon for Self-Defense
  5. Balance
  6. Gauging Depth
  7. Carrying Gear and Supplies
  8. Club
  9. Fishing Rod

Survival Stick: An Underrated Multipurpose Tool?

The Survival Stick in History

A walking stick or a survival cane were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries as a decorative show of power and a defensive replacement for a sword. Yet, the truth is our ancestors have been using them for thousands of years, and for good reason…

…They work! Even the animal kingdom is smart enough to know just how useful these are:

(It may be hard to see, but this gorilla is holding a walking stick to gauge the depth of the water as she sloshes along)

A walking stick is not a new or revolutionary idea. In fact, the use of a walking stick predates history and its use continued on for generations including this present time.

Yet, it is one which is more often than not overlooked. When most people think of a walking stick, it is usually paired with a top hat or seen as a crutch for someone with a walking disability.

Far too few people even realize how important a walking stick can be, especially to someone in the outdoors. We will dig a little deeper into the many uses of a survival stick and maybe safely say, it could be the first multi-purpose survival tool.

Practical and Survival Uses for a Survival Stick

Walking sticks are also known as trekking poles, pilgrim's staffs, hiking poles and hiking staff have quite a few different uses:

1. Survival Hiking Stick

Hold the survival stick in front of you and you can use it to clear your way by parting brushes and branches or leaves and thick tall grasses. You can also use it to clear spiderwebs, especially if you're not too fond of spiders.

Other insects, animals, poisonous plants, and even animal dung can get in the way. Use a survival stick to inspect or poke at those things if you are unsure, and never ever your hands or your feet.

2. Survival Stick for Support

Hiker in Caucasus mountains is crossing mountain river | Good Reasons To Carry A "Survival Stick" | hiking staff
Making your way through an uneven terrain will be more manageable with a walking stick for support. Whether you're going up or down, use the walking stick to either slow you down or hold you up.

You can use your walking stick like breaks to keep you from speeding down or use it to latch on to a rock or crevice when you're climbing up. Besides for yourself, you can also use your multipurpose stick as a support for your tarp emergency shelter.

3. Fetching/Reaching Things

It happens–a supply or gear falling on water, mud, puddle or in an area you dare not walk into. You can fetch or reach for those items with a stick.

It also happens where you need an item over a physical barrier and only a stick can fetch the item for you. You can also reach for fruits, nest, or other food sources up a tree or high structure with a stick.

RELATED: Unusual Weapons From Around The World And How To Use Them

4. Walking Staff Weapon for Self-Defense

To use a survival stick as a weapon, make sure it's a sturdy stick with a finished look and not just any stick you found along the way. You can use it to defend yourself from an attacker whether it's human or animals.

I would suggest to train yourself in some form of martial arts using a stick like a baton as a weapon to have a better handle at it.

You can also fashion a spear with your stick by tying a survival knife on one end. Don't throw this spear though or you risk damaging or losing your knife and stick.

Hold on to your homemade spear and only use it to thrust at your target.

5. Balance

Hiker is crossing the river in Sweden | Hiker in Caucasus mountain | Good Reasons To Carry A "Survival Stick" | survival hiking stickWhen you're crossing a log bridge over a stream or you're going through the stream itself or other bodies of water, a walking stick can help you balance so you don't fall over. If you're walking through a muddy or rocky waterbed, a walking stick will help you up.

If you're up for it and if the body of water isn't too wide across, you can also use a long stick like a pole vault to cross over so you don't get yourself wet.

6. Gauging Depth

Relative to crossing bodies of water, a survival stick is handy in identifying dips beneath the waters which could cause you to stumble. You can also use the stick to identify where it's safe to take the next step.

You can also use this simple trick with the stick when you're traveling in deep snow, marshland, and even the dessert.

7. Carrying Gear and Supplies

Use your survival stick to help you carry gear and supplies. Pack your supplies with a shemagh, tie it tight to one end of your stick then place the stick over your shoulders in hobo fashion.

You can also carry more supplies with your survival stick. Even today, a carrying pole is used by indigenous people all over the world to carry heavy supplies you never thought possible.

Hang bags of supplies or jars of water on either side of the pole or stick, putting a stopper like a notch or tie on both ends so they don't fall off. Place the center of the stick over your shoulders and balance your load to your destination.

8. Club

Man carrying blue backpack | Good Reasons To Carry A "Survival Stick" | walking staff weapon
Use your survival stick like a club to knock obstacle down. A pillar of rocks or other objects may be on your way and a sturdy stick can help you safely knock those.

If you are in a building with glass doors or windows or inside a car, you can break the glass with a stick. Make to knock over pieces around your entrance or exit with the stick, too.

9. Fishing Rod

You only need to bring a fishing kit and your survival stick will make a good fishing rod. Tie a line on one end of your walking stick and fish away.

A DIY fishing pole is actually effective and many a fish has been caught this way.

As you guys and gals already know, I am a stickler for carrying things only if they have multiple uses. This guy managed to fit almost an entire survival kit into a walking stick he built from scratch, for under $20.00.

Check out this video from SOS 2054 I found, and find out for yourself, too:

A humble walking stick will indeed surprise you with what it can do for your defense, convenience, safety, and survival. Since you know now the practical and survival uses of this primitive multi-purpose tool, it won't surprise me if it lands a top spot on your list of survival tools for camping, hiking, or SHTF.

What other uses can you think of for carrying a “survival stick”? Let us know in the comments section below!

Up Next:

Go to our Survival Life Store to shop some of our favorites self-defense tools and gear!

Check out How To Purify Water | 5 Water Decontamination Techniques at https://survivallife.com/how-purify-water/

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**Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 11, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

This Article Was First Found at survivallife.com Read The Original Article Here

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