09 July 2010

when plants turn bad-- the case of poison ivy and poison oak.

what comes in a set of three leaves per stem, screams of irritation on your skin a day after you touch it, and makes you itch all over ? poison ivy and poison oak, of course !

i say this with near enthusiasm, but we can all guess that my optimistic  angle is only so real here and is actually more geared toward prevention or treatment of the devilish problem that begins in patches of outdoorsy spots where these plants thrive.

last weekend, while visiting a friend, i realized she didn't know how to identify poison ivy and that we had nearly wiped our legs across some at a log that acted as a bench. but i can't say much better for myself, as i only in the past few years made the serious effort to start using selection vision to pick out poison ivy when i'm out and about in the sweep of greenery.

oftentimes, it appears shiny and oily, but not always. once you learn to distinguish it in a snap, your brain ticks, and you think, ut oh, bad news ! at the sight of it. but it's important to get to that point because if you are susceptible to it, your sensory spots, caked with the need for you to itch the rash zones, you will be claiming symptoms of misery later. and that doesn't even touch upon the fact that it loves to be difficult in departing from your burdened epidermis.

my brother scott told me that one agenda item he always tries to teach his landscape customers is how to identify poison ivy. this is an incredibly valuable lesson, as the mistake of jostling your limbs near the unfriendly, usually oily-topped leaves will pull out your sorries later.

the first aid aisle of most stores has at least a few variants of products for helping these awful disturbances to dissipate, but i've had minimal luck with any other than a calamine spray and a clear gel, both menthol-y and by the band-aid brand. another super-drying agent that has helped me out is fels-naptha, which is labeled as a heavy duty laundry bar soap.

tammy abraham of amber hills herbs & gifts gave me a little sample of rhassoul clay, which helps to draw out the oils and built-up moisture of this skin-angering ailment, when you mix it with water into a slight paste.

no one ever envies those who wear the fresh scars of poison ivy or poison oak. i believe that is agreeable enough ? learn the look of these leaves and avoid them like the plague.

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