Harvesting and Eating Prickly Pear Cactus

Harvesting and Eating Prickly Pear Cactus

 Harvesting and Eating Prickly Pear Cactus

Photo: commonswikimediaorg

Usually when we talk about foraging cactus isn’t on the list of most desirable edible wild plants. Prickly pear cactus grows well in arid landscapes and is the most cold tolerant of the cactuses. You can find it in the western portions and the low lying areas of the east coast in the United States, western and southern Canada as well as in most portions of Mexico.

It has a large following in Mexican and Southwestern foods. It is eaten often in these cultures without ill effect. This species of cactus has medical benefits for type 2 diabetes, reducing nausea, assisting with the effects of a hangover and reducing cholesterol. Beware however, that prickly pear cactus can cause some side effects including mild diarrhea, nausea, increased amount and frequency of stool, bloating, and headache. Please be especially careful if you have diabetes to check your sugar levels when using the prickly pear cactus for food or medical purposes.

HorseBackBob has put together a tutorial on how to safely harvest and eat this edible. See it linked below

How to Pick and Eat Prickly Pear Cactus 

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