Are the firethorn fruits really poisonous?

Are the firethorn fruits really poisonous?

Do not eat the berries raw

These berry-shaped stone fruits taste unpleasantly sour and floury and are not suitable for raw consumption. Contrary to popular belief, however, they are neither poisonous nor edible. Only the two to five seeds of the nut fruits contain traces of cyanogenic glycosides and are slightly toxic when chewed. All other parts of the plant are non-toxic.

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The concentration of toxins in the berries is so low that there are no symptoms of poisoning even after consuming large amounts. In sensitive people and children, the consumption of raw fruits can lead to mild gastrointestinal complaints, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

The berries - shining jewelry in the cold season

The firethorn berries do not fall off in autumn and remain on the wood throughout the winter (winter cows). They serve as valuable food for many bird species in the cold season and should therefore not be cut off in autumn. You should also not remove everything that has withered during the summer pruning, otherwise the attractive shrub will only grow a few or no berries.

A special treat when cooked

Delicious jam can be made from the edible berries of the firethorn, which is a successful change from other varieties thanks to its exotic taste. It is advisable to pass the berries or the prepared fruit spread through a sieve to remove the seeds.

Tips & Tricks

In times of need, the stone fruits were roasted and used as a coffee substitute.