All parts, mainly the roots; shoots, leaves, and berries when fresh and in quantity
Poison Delivery Mode:
Burning of mouth and throat, salivation, severe stomach irritation, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, spasms, convulsions; can be fatal
EDIBLE PARTS: Young tender leaves eaten only as thoroughly cooked greens (in two waters). Cooked berries are safe for making pies. CAUTION: Berries, roots and mature plants are poisonous, therefore, only use as new, young growth. Also any red-tinged plant material should be discarded. To avoid possibly collecting part of the toxic root, do not cut below ground level.
HARVEST: Only collect young shoots from areas you know have NOT been treated with pesticides. Collect in early spring.
SAFE HANDLING PROCEDURES: Wash young shoots thoroughly with warm water. Do not use dish detergent or any type of sanitizer. These products can leave a residue. Peel and parboil tender young shoots (less than eight inches) in two changes of water several minutes each. Boil in a third water until tender and serve like asparagus. Young stalks less than one foot tall, with leaves removed, and before red tinged, can be cut and rolled in corn meal and fried like okra. They can also be pickled. Young leaves taken from stalks less than one foot tall can be parboiled in two changes of water for several minutes each and boiled in a third water until tender. To freeze, parboil leaves twice, cook, pat dry and place them in plastic bags.
Phytolaccatoxin and related triterpene saponins, an alkaloid (phytolaccin), and histamines
HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!