10 August 2017

"[T]he symptoms are basically gone"

A cautionary tale about D.I.Y. tonic water in an age where we can find small-batch "artisanal" tonics and non-alcoholic homebrews at the farmers market:
I'm not saying that you need to be a food scientist or a compounding pharmacist to do things safely, but you have to understand that you're working with potentially harmful substances! Indian Calamus root, Virginia Snakeroot or tobacco - even in small amounts can have horrible and irreversible effects. Just last week, I was told about a bar that was soaking stone fruit pits in neutral grain and had no idea about cyanide toxicity.
Careful out there, folks!

Speaking of potent home-made potables, we did make a batch of Rowhouse Livin' gin this year, only we added blueberries. Brhubarb! The result is a deeper pink rather than the dusty rose that rhubarb-only usually produces. And now I feel compelled to warn people to never, ever use rhubarb leaves for anything but compost or mulch. Don't eat them. Don't feed them to your livestock or pets. They are poisonous.

You probably won't die because you probably can't physically ingest a deadly quantity of rhubarb leaves at one sitting. But even a small portion of leaves, cooked or uncooked, will make you sick enough for hospitalization.

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