Prickly Pear Cactus

oakleif(z6 AR)December 24, 2008

Native Americans polticed peeled pads on wounds. Applied juice of fruits to warts. drank pad tea for lung ailments. In folk medicine peeled pads polticed for rhumatism, juice for kidney stones, bake pads for gout , chronic ulcers and wounds.

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Any update beyond folklore?

Caution is advised when peeling/using prickly pear pads. You want to make sure all the tiny hair-like prickles (glochids) are removed - nasty when they are embedded in your skin (not to mention the digestive tract).

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 12:55PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

Sorry! guess i thought everyone knew you burn the bristles off. Which of course you do. They even burn the bristles off in west Texas for the cattles sake.
Happy New Year Everyone!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 3:01AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Basic warnings like that are best repeated very often, you never know who is reading, people damage themselves all the time because other people assume that common sense will be used, or that some practices are common knowledge; I did not know that they were burned off (although I'm clever enough thankfully to figure out that the prickles are not something I want in me) or even that they were flammable, I would probably use a knife if I ever had occasion to prepare them.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 4:34AM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

I was very amiss for not stating that you burn off the prickles.And i apoligise.
BREN, you did not figure anything out is my humble guess.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 10:53PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Its not a guess, I said right there at the end of the most that I would have done something "if I ever had occasion to", implying that I never had occasion too.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 12:45AM
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Personally I enjoy eating the very young pads before the thorns harded off. I use gloves and scrape them off with a good knife. I then wash the pads off to make sure all are removed as the thorns still have fine wire like stickers with one each. The "pear Apples" make great jelly if you add lemon. In west Texas you can pick a Wash Tub full in about 1/2hour, not 98 cents each. The pads make a very nice stew or with eggs.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 9:50PM
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