MadSci Network: Botany

Re: Is it safer to eat a dried plant than a fresh one, because toxins disappear

Date: Thu Jan 7 15:08:45 1999
Posted By: Kieran Kelly, grad, Darden School of Business Admin., University of Virginia
Area of science: Botany
ID: 915243809.Bt

Tough question.  Off the top of my head, I would say no because whatever 
toxins are in the fresh plant would be concentrated in the dried specimen. 
On the other hand, I can see how your hypothesis of toxins degrading over 
time might result in a different answer.  I suppose it depends on whether 
the toxin you are worried about is sensitive to heat or water content.  If 
you are drying the plant slowly, I would not anticipate much degradation, 
but if it is being exposed to severe heat, the toxin chould change.  I 
can't tell if you have any specific plant in mind for this question - 
knowing more specifics might help me give you a better answer...

I hope I have at least given you a few ideas to think about.  I will 
certainly recommend some serious literature research before you eat 
anything you are not familiar with, fresh or dry.  Good luck!


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