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Yew Arils

Madehurst Church Exterior - 1

Yew (Taxus baccata) is a wonderful tree, especially when gnarled with age, but also a deadly poisonous one. Seeds, leaves and bark are loaded with taxol and thus it is not regarded as an edible tree. However, the red, fleshy part of the fruit, the aril, is actually not only free from taxol but also rather delicious. So much for red being a warning sign!

After some careful research from a number of sources, I decided to try this yesterday and was rewarded with the sweet, viscous liquid inside. I only tried a tiny bit dabbed on my finger tip and told my colleagues what I’d done when I returned to work (in case I was wrong and became ill) but no problems have arisen.

I would definitely like to try them again although I must emphasise again the fact that the rest of the plant (including the seed inside the plant if broken open) is highly poisonous and to be carefully avoided.

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