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From: (Don Wilkins)
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Off Topic - Poison Ivy
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 14:55:02 GMT

On 26 Aug 1998 02:44:21 PDT, "\"Mad\"" <> wrote:

>Bill S. wrote in message <01bdcfd1$58ea3360$a89161ce@default>...
>>Thanks for the input.
<Various remedies snipped>

>>Tomorrow I'm going after the roots of that bush with some Roundup (from a
>>respectful distance).

Just because you have killed the plant don't assume that you won't get
a repeat dose when digging around in the soil.

Also be careful if you burn brush etc. The stuff will volatilize and
condense giving a "bad news" exposure.

>About those hot showers, somewhere I read that an effective treatment
>for any itch is a 10-minute soak in hot water, as hot as you can stand.
>Supposedly, the same nerve endings sense heat and itching, and
>the ten minutes either desensitizes those nerves, or just plain runs them
>out of whatever chemical they're using to signal with.
>I forget how many hours the relief is supposed to last.

My experience has been that the hot water treatment is good for about
ten minutes after which the itch returns with a vengeance. Feels good

My experience has been that in my younger days I would get serious
rashes from poison ivy but now that I am longer in the tooth I am just
as susceptable but tend to be much more aware of its presence. I avoid
it if possible  and use soap and water immediately after even
suspected exposure.

<stuff snipped>

>Since you seem to be reacting to poison ivy, you should probably be careful
>about mango fruit, mango juice, cashew nuts, and real Japanese and
>Chinese lacquer.

Lacquer yes the others probably not.

>According to yet another article I read, the mango, cashew, and
>lacquer trees are all botanically related to the poisom ivy family, and
>produce small amounts of the poison; I forget the chemical name,
>it's named after the lacquer tree because the lacquer is made from
>the sap of the tree, and the lacquer makers would get sick from
>exposure to the poisonous sap. Traces of the chemical survive the
>lacquer processing, .and really sensitive people can get poison ivy
>poisoning from fondling a lacquered object.

The chemical name is urushiol. It is a catechol derivative and is the
active ingredient in a number of toxic plants in the Rhus family which
includes poison ivy. Catechols are phenolic type compounds and have
some of the properties of carbolic acid (phenol).

The Japanese lacquer contains similar compounds and there is enough
left in some finished products to sensitize some individuals. If you
point out a sprig of poison ivy to a non-English speaking Japanese and
say the word "Urushi" they will know it is not to be touched.

>I wouldn't have worried about mango, except lately, there are more
>and more of the tropical fruits I grew up with, showing up fresh in
>the local grocery stores, including mango, pineapple, carambola
>(Chinese star fruit), coconut, guava, passion fruit, papaya, etc.
>I think the Tropicana brand has a mango flavored drink, that I love
>the taste of, but I would worry about giving it to poison-ivy
>sensitive people.

I doubt this is a problem. If it is it won't be for long as soon as
the lawyers find this new lucrative field.

>On the subject of poisons, does anyone know what the poison in the
>Manchineel tree is? I may have that spelled wrong, I remember it
>being a tree in Florida, so toxic that, supposedly, a traveler sheltering
>under one during a rain was blinded by the rain dripping off its leaves.

Manchineel tree is a South American euphorbiaceous tree which has a
milky highly caustic toxic sap. There have been many stories
concerning the tree and its toxicity. I suspect that most have become
somewhat supplemented with non-factual material with each version.

One would suspect that highly caustic sap in the eyes might awaken the
traveler and that the after getting out from under the tree the rain
might be useful to rinse out the eyes before any damage is done. Of
course if the traveler were sleeping off a drunken orgy then.........

From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: Poison Oak Remedy?????
Date: 10 Jul 1995

In <> (John Young)

>	I have a friend at work that has poison oak pretty bad on his
>property and he seems to get into it about twice a month, is there a
>good cure to use for this stuff???
>	Thanks in advance,
>		John Young

There's not much to do for bad cases except give a week of oral
steroids, with some steroids on the skin as well (and some anti-itch
antihistamines like hydroxyzine).  Obviously you don't want to have to
do something this drastic twice a month, however.  Thus, I recommend
your friend do something about primary prevention.  Thick clothes and
work gloves, clearing plants with herbacides, etc.

                                               Steve Harris, M.D.

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