aracea toxins (re: composting/skunk cabbage)
Just a note, that soluble oxalic acid of rhubarb and insoluble calcium
oxalate crystals of water arum, taro and other plants of araceae family
are different in the way they are poisonous to humans.
Irritation caused by calcium oxalate present in plants can be increased
due to proteolytic enzymes, which surround the crystals. In case of water
arum, there are also other poisonous substances present which are not as
far as I know fully chemically identified, but include aroine alkaloid
(which resembles konine of hemlock), saponins and prussic acid.
Traditional treatment for water arum roots in Fennoscandia is through
careful preparation by cutting them into small pieces, boiling them (for
half an hour), leaving them to dry for a few days and then grinding into a
powder, which was used in baking (traditional baking meant usually
fermented sour dough)... I wonder is it that cooking and discarding the
water gets rid of the other toxic substances, but drying (and
fermentation) is needed to remove rest of the oxalates ?
> Plant material can be toxic to people and yet not be harmful in compost or
> mulches. Would you not put rhubarb leaves in your compost bin?
> Regards, Hilary (Cheshire)
> From: manofpeace32@...
> Subject: [pfaf] Re: composting /skunk cabbage
> drying or cooking skunk cabage is the way to go.
> (I don't have experience wuiht it yet.
> It has a chemical called oxalate acid.
> while Im on the subect I was just reading about
> some one(who know's their stuff)
> who dryed it, and it still had trace amounts.
> I have read on pfaf that 6 months it should be dryed for.