Test only one part of the plant at a time. Comment: By eating more than one part you will not be able to determine (if you get ill) what part is safe to eat. Key in one only one part.
Break the plant down into base constituents: leaves, steams, roots, etc. Comment: Once again, it makes identification of safe and unsafe parts of the plant. Not all parts of a plant may be safe to eat.
Smell the plant for strong or acid odors. Comment: Avoid any plant with a strong or acid odor because the plant is considered unsafe to eat.
Do not eat for eight hours before starting the test. Comment: This is so you can be sure, if you get ill, it was the plant that caused it.
At first, put a small sample of the plant on the inside of your elbow or on your wrist. Wait 15 minutes and check to see if you had a reaction. Comment: A general rule is if the plant causes a reaction on your skin, it is not safe to eat.
During the test period, remember to take nothing orally except pure water and the tested plant. Comment: It you eat or drink anything besides pure water, the test is not valid. And, you will have to start over. It may have been another food that caused an ill effect.
Select a very small piece of the plant to be tested. Comment: Always use a very small piece of the test plant to start with. If the plant makes you ill, the less you test with the less the suffering may be.
Put the selected piece of the plant up against your lip and test for burning or itching. Comment: If the plant causes any burning, itching or numbness to your lips, DO NOT continue the test. Wash your lips to remove any residue from the plant.
After three minutes, if there is no reaction, place the selected piece of the plant and place it on your tongue. Hold it there for 15 minutes. DO NOT SWALLOW. Comment: While this step sounds easy, I know from experience, it is difficult to do when you are hungry. But, remember, at this point you do not want to swallow an untested plant yet.
If there is no reaction, chew the piece thoroughly and hold it in your mouth for 15 minutes. Once again, DO NOT SWALLOW. Comment: Once again, this is difficult step for someone when they are hungry. Pay close attention to any burning, itching or numbness while chewing the plant.
If there is not irritation at all during this time, swallow the piece of plant. Comment:Be honest about this step. If you have experienced any reaction or irritation during the test up to this step, DO NOT swallow the plant.
Wait eight hours. If you have any effects from the plant, induce vomiting and rink plenty of water. Comment: It is difficult to wait when you are very hungry. However, this is necessary to insure the plant is safe to eat. If you do become ill, flush the system by drinking plenty of water. You may experience diarrhea or stomach cramps from a bad plant.
If you do not experience any ill effects, eat one half of a cup of the same plant prepared the same way. Wait another eight hours; if no ill effects are suffered the plant, as prepared, is safe to eat. Comment: The key here is to always prepare the plant the way you tested it. If you decide to fix it another way, then start the test all over again. Some foods may be safe when eaten cooked but not safe if eaten raw. So, always prepare a plant in a way that you know is safe.