Getting into the forest during the ripening season of berries and mushrooms, the inexperienced layman forgets that not all of them are edible and safe. From all the variety of berry plants, it is necessary to distinguish those that hide their poisonous "nature" behind their attractive and bright shell. It is necessary to know for yourself and explain to your children. Despite the fact that it is often advised to eat only wild berry, which is eaten by animals or birds, this recommendation is not true. Animals eat some types of berry fruits that are dangerous for humans without any consequences for themselves, therefore this is not an indicator of their harmlessness. Classification and photos of poisonous berries are presented below.
Poisonous berries: symptoms of poisoning, relief
The main signs of intoxication caused by poisonous berries are: convulsions, cramps, palpitations, difficulty breathing, irritation of the digestive tract, depression of consciousness, dizziness. If such symptoms appear, the first thing is to provide the victim with peace, clean the stomach. To do this, drink 2-4 cups of water with activated carbon diluted in it (2 tbsp per 500 ml), salt or potassium permanganate (1 tsp per 500 ml). Repeatedly repeating this procedure will help induce vomiting, free the stomach from the poisonous substance. If you have a first-aid kit with you, the victim needs to take a heart remedy, as well as any laxative. If the first-aid kit is not at hand, brown bread crumbs, starch or milk will help. The victim needs to be provided with heat and provide qualified medical care as soon as possible.
Poisonous berries: photos and names
To distinguish inedible fruits from ordinary fruits, it is necessary to remember their type and shape. Poisonous forest berries can not only cause intoxication of varying severity, but also death. Therefore, being in the forest, in no case should you eat or touch with the bare hands the fruits of unfamiliar shrubs, as well as trees.
The classification of which berries are poisonous and inedible, which are most often found in our forests, is as follows:
Other names of the poisonous berries of this plant are sleepy grass, belladonna. It occurs more often in mountain forests by solitary plants or whole thickets. Poisonous belladonna berries are round, with shiny black skin, the size of a cherry. They have a sweet and sour taste, inside contains a lot of seeds. They are very poisonous, ingestion of a small number of fruits can cause cardiac arrest and paralysis of the respiratory system. The leaves and roots of this plant are as toxic as the fruits.
- Wolfish bast
These poisonous forest berries are popularly called wolf. This is a shrub plant growing in mixed forests. It blooms in spring with beautiful inflorescences very similar to lilac flowers. But even the long smell of this plant can cause a headache, cough, sneezing and runny nose. In autumn, a poisonous red berry of an elongated shape appears. It is undesirable not only to use, but even to touch. The bark of this plant is also poisonous, which can cause the appearance of blisters and ulcers on the surface of the skin.
- Bittersweet nightshade
Shrub grows near ponds, in damp ravines, oak forests. In folk medicine, nightshade fruits are used for treatment, but self-consumption is fraught with poisoning. Dangerous are its red oval fruits and leaves that emit an unpleasant aroma. The bitter fruits are juicy, with many seeds, all the greens on the bush are also poisonous.Bittersweet nightshade (red)
- Black nightshade
The toxic berries of black nightshade are only unripe fruits. Perfectly ripe fruits can be eaten, they contain a large amount of vitamin C, the leaves are also eaten boiled. The fruits are round, black in color, the flesh is black-violet in color, contain difficult to remove coloring matter. Fresh fruits produce an unpleasant aroma. Nightshade is found not only in forests, but also near ponds, ravines, and roadsides. You can even make jam from black nightshade fruits.
- Bought fragrant
It occurs in dry forests, coniferous and birch, as well as in meadows, edges, steppe zones. This plant is small (up to 65 cm) with spherical blue-black or red fruits, pointed leaves and white drooping flowers. When used, as well as touching, symptoms of poisoning with an upset gastrointestinal tract, headaches, shortness of breath occur.
- Raven eye
A low plant with one straight stem, on which one fruit of a round shape and black color ripens. The berry has a bitter aftertaste and an unpleasant odor. Grows in coniferous and mixed forests, among shrubs. The fruits, leaves and rhizome of the plant are equally dangerous poisoning, the signs of which are respiratory arrest, irritation of the intestine, impaired cardiac activity. Leaves affect the human nervous system, can cause paralysis. Traditional medicine uses the raven eye to treat boils, to lubricate various wounds, use alcohol tincture and decoction of leaves to treat pulmonary tuberculosis.
- May lily of the valley
May lily of the valley
The well-known flower of the lily of the valley has poisonous forest berries of red or orange color. The fruits ripen from August to September, their use causes convulsions, nausea, dizziness, impaired cardiac activity. Flowers have a pungent but pleasant smell. Medicine uses May lily of the valley to treat cardiovascular disease. But self-medication is not recommended, just as there are fruits or to put bouquets in the room.
A plant with large cup-shaped leaves on which red berries ripened in a large bunch ripen. Grows in wetlands. Together with the most common signs of poisoning, the marsh callas causes irritation of the mucous membranes. Fresh leaves, stem, fruit, and especially rhizome, are toxic.
- Forest honeysuckle
Many are familiar with garden honeysuckle, but few know what berries are poisonous in forest honeysuckle. They are bright red in color, collected in a small bunch. Honeysuckle berries resemble the fruits of red currant. It can be misleading regarding the edibility of berries that some birds peck the fruits of the honeysuckle, but they are poisonous to humans. Edible are only blue berries in garden honeysuckle. Shrubs of forest honeysuckle are often used for decorative purposes.
The euonymus is a shrub up to two meters high. Often planted as an ornamental shrub with beautiful red fruits. Berries are loved by birds, but their consumption is dangerous for humans. The fruit looks like a bright red pulp, peeking out of pink boxes with black seeds.
- Voronets spiky
The plant is of medium height (up to 60 cm), with large oblong fruits of black color, also they are red or white. The plant has a very irritating effect in all its parts, one touch can cause severe inflammation, accompanied by the appearance of blisters. A particularly strong reaction of the poisonous substance is manifested on the mucous membrane of the eyes and mouth. Similar to it is the Red-fronted Voronet, which has red fruits.
- Elderberry grass
The plant is common in the mountains and foothills of southern Russia, the fruits are small black berries with red juice inside. Small fragrant white flowers are collected in numerous umbrellas. With intoxication, death can occur as a result of cardiac arrest or pulmonary edema. The accumulation of oxyhemoglobin stains the mucous surfaces in blue. However, fresh ripe fruits can be consumed in processed form.
- Unbreakable buckthorn
Buckthorn poisonous berries in the forest can be found near ponds. Black bony buckthorn fruits ripen in late summer. Unbreakable bark and buckthorn fruits are used as a remedy for constipation and gastric lavage. Buckthorn fruits can be confused with bird cherry. Fresh consumption causes severe vomiting.
- Yew berry
Many have seen yew used in ornamental hedges, but few people know what poisonous yew berries are, especially in the middle where brown seeds are hidden under the fleshy, almost harmless part. Toxic are also bark, shoots, yew wood. Coniferous hood can cause human death. The poison has a paralyzing effect, causes respiratory arrest and convulsions.
- Aronik spotted
This is a perennial plant with a fleshy stem and tuberous rhizome. At the end of summer, the leaves of the plant crumble, stems with a large bunch of dense red berries remain. After ingestion, severe intoxication, provided that first aid is not provided, can be fatal.
Thus, many of the poisonous plants, when used and processed correctly, can be beneficial and serve as a medicine for many diseases. However, in no case should you self-medicate without medical skills, as well as consume the fresh fruits of the above toxic plants inside. If this still happened, you need to immediately provide medical assistance to the victim. And most importantly, in order to avoid unpleasant consequences, you can’t eat an unfamiliar wild berry, touch it with your hands, and let children do it.