Learn About These Common Poisonous Plants In the Woods

Being outside in nature is surely one of the best things out there. A day hike or a weekend camping can bring many mental and physical benefits.

But like any other good thing, you are exposed to certain dangers in the forest or in the mountains. One of them are poisonous plants.

It is important to identify the most common and learn basic first aid in case you ever come across any of them.

RELATED: How to Prevent and Treat Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Learn about these common poisonous plants found in the forest (plus first aid tips!)

Here are some of the most common poisonous plants in the forest and how to treat them if they come in contact:

Poison ivy

Everyone knows poison ivy as it is one of the most common plants to avoid outdoors. The stem of this plant usually grows into 3 leaves, so they’re pretty easy to identify.

In some parts of the country (east, mid-west and south) it grows as a grapevine, but in other parts (north and west) as a shrub.

The leaves of poison ivy contain urushiol, an oily juice that can cause redness, itching, and swelling of the skin.

Poison oakPoison oak leaves close up for plant identification-Common poisonous plants

Poison oak is often confused with poison ivy. The leaves are very similar, but the leaves of the poison oak look more like those of an oak.

The leaves of the poison oak have tiny hairs and also contain urushiol. Unlike an allergic reaction to poison ivy, the skin can react to poisonous oak leaves hours or even days after contact.

Rashes from these can eventually turn into blisters that ooze.

Poison sumacGreen leaves and red inflorescences of the seeds of Sumac Deer or Sumac Fluff Common Poisonous Plants

This plant is fairly easy to identify as each stem has clusters of drooping green berries and contains around 7-13 leaves. They mostly grow in damp and swampy areas. Like the first two plants mentioned above, the leaves of sumac also contain urushiol, which triggers the allergic reaction.

First aidWoman with first aid kit on gray background, top view-Common Poisonous Plants Plant

If any of these plants come into contact with your skin, wash the affected area immediately with warm soap and water. Take off contaminated clothing and seal in plastic.

To relieve itching and redness, use a cold compress every 30 minutes. You can also apply cortisone or calamine creams. Some people say that oatmeal baths help a lot. Take oral antihistamines if you have trouble falling asleep.

See a doctor right away if the person has difficulty breathing or swallowing, and if the rash covers a large part of the body.

Next time you’re outdoors, watch out for these common poisonous plants!

Daniel J. Smith is a survival expert. He has lived outdoors since childhood and loves to share his expertise in camping, hiking, traveling, RV home living and more. He has also started his own company called OutBright which will shortly be selling products for campers, hikers, travelers and all outdoor adventurers.

To all preppers, craftsmen, bushmasters, nature lovers and all-round experts, Survival Life needs YOU! Click here if you’d like to write for us.

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Macallister Anderson

I am by no means an expert in every aspect of this stuff. I plan to learn, and when possible, enlist the help of experts in various fields to come together and offer their knowledge. In a few years, I dream that this site will be a virtual survival encyclopedia and allow a total novice to come on here and be supplied with everything they need to prepare for anything.

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