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October 19, 2017

Archives for October 2013

For goats, polson ivy not poison at all

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For goats, polson ivy not poison at all

Goats a solution to a poison ivy problem

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Goats a solution to a poison ivy problem

Poison Ivy Survival Tips for Fall from Topical BioMedics

Pretty Poison: “Leaves of Three, Let it Be”

It’s a particularly strong year for poison ivy, so it’s important for everyone to be aware there are ways to prevent outbreaks, or safely treat rashes.

Rhinebeck, NY (PRWEB) October 16, 2013

The cool, crisp days of autumn bring with them the pleasures of leaf peeping, apple picking, pumpkin carving, and brisk walks. For most Americans, it also means fall yard pickup—and along with it, an increased exposure to poison ivy. According to a report published in Weed Science, research indicates that poison ivy has grown much more aggressive since the 1950s, with leaf size and oil content measurably increased. This is bad news if you are one of the more than 350,000 people who are stricken by poison ivy annually.

Poison ivy tops the list of plants to avoid because it contains urushiol, an oily resin that binds to the skin on contact and may result in a hypersensitivity reaction characterized by itching, burning skin eruptions. This rash-causing poison ivy sap is a clear liquid found in the plant’s leaves and the roots, which many people develop an allergy to over time.

Urushiol oil remains active for several years, so handling dead leaves or vines can cause a reaction. In addition, oil transferred from the plant to other objects—such as gardening tools, an article of clothing, or even a pet—can cause the rash when it comes in contact with human skin. If poison ivy is eaten, the mucus lining of the mouth and digestive tract can be damaged. And if poison ivy is burned and the smoke inhaled, a rash may appear in the lining of the lungs, causing extreme pain and respiratory difficulty that may become life-threatening.

Lou Paradise, president and chief of research of Topical BioMedics, Inc., makers of Topricin, says, “It’s a particularly strong year for poison ivy, so it’s important for everyone to be aware there are ways to prevent outbreaks, or safely treat rashes and minimize the discomfort and duration should they occur.”

ABOUT THE PLANT

Captain John Smith was the first to describe the plant, coining the name “Poison Ivy” in 1609. Poison ivy grows throughout much of North America, and is extremely common in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and southeastern U.S. It’s typically found in wooded areas as well as exposed rocky areas and open fields, and can be recognized by its group of three leaflets on small stems coming off larger main stems. For decades parents have taught their children the sing-song phrase “leaves of three, let it be” as a way of learning to spot this pretty but toxic plant. Poison ivy also has inconspicuous greenish flowers with five petals, and berry-like fruits that are hard and whitish.

There are two types of poison ivy, the climbing variety, toxicondendron radicans, and the non-climbing, toxicodendron rydbergil (from the Latin toxicum, “poison,” and the Greek dendron, “tree”). Because the varieties interbreed, they look similar and sometimes grow in the same places. They also create the same allergic rash, which may last anywhere from a week to three weeks.

Although some people are immune to poison ivy, most people develop a rash after coming in contact with the plant. After the oil has touched the skin it takes about 12 to 36 hours for redness and swelling to appear, followed by blisters and itching. Contrary to popular belief, scratching or oozing blister fluid cannot spread the outbreak or transfer it to other people. New lesions that appear a few days after a breakout of primary lesions means that there was less oil deposited on that area of the skin, or that the skin was less sensitive to it.

WINNING THE BATTLE AGAINST POISON IVY

Poison ivy’s urushiol oil is extremely potent, and only one nanogram (billionth of a gram) is needed to cause a rash. Even if you’ve never broken out you cannot assume you are immune as the more often you are exposed to urushiol, the more likely it is that you will break out with an allergic rash. In fact, upwards of 90% of the population develops an allergy to it.

You and your family can have a more enjoyable fall by following these tips for avoiding outbreaks of poison ivy, along with these helpful treatments for soothing and healing rashes if you do succumb.

Prevention:

  • Avoiding contact with the plant is, of course, the best prevention. Go on an expedition, wearing long pants, a shirt with long sleeves, boots, and gloves to minimize exposure. Tour your yard, the playground, the route your children walk to school, a campsite you’re visiting, and any other outdoor areas you frequent. When you spot poison ivy, show it to your kids and instruct them to stay away from it. If you have a large amount growing in your yard, consult with a professional landscaper for removal. (Unless you are a professional, do not “weed whack” as it sprays the poison ivy—and hence the oil—right at you.)
  • Prior to any outdoor activity, apply odorless, greaseless Topricin Pain Relief and Healing cream to any exposed areas of your body, including face, neck, hands, arms, etc. This will form a protective barrier making it more difficult for the urushiol oil to bond with your skin. Topricin contains natural medicines that also antidote and neutralize the adverse affect of urushiol oil. As an added plus, Topricin is the gardener’s favorite for relieving all those aches and pains from doing yard work.
  • At least 50 percent of the people who come into contact with poison ivy develop an itchy rash. The most dangerous type of exposure occurs when the plant is burned and the smoke is inhaled, which can affect your lungs.
  • Urushiol oil is extremely stable and will stay potent for years–which means you can get a rash from clothing or tools that got oil on them many seasons ago. After exposure to poison ivy, put on gloves and wipe everything you had with you and on you with rubbing alcohol and water, including shoes, tools, and clothing. Then wash clothes at least twice before wearing (if possible using bleach), hose off garden tools well, and apply leather moisturizer on footwear to prevent them from drying out (again, put on gloves).
  • Pets seem to be immune from getting poison ivy, but many people do get a rash from the residual urushiol oil on their fur. Therefore it’s a good idea to bath our dog or cat wearing thick rubber gloves (not latex). After washing the pet, wash yourself using cold water to keep pores closed. Consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions.

Treatment

  • Urushiol binds to skin proteins and begins to penetrate within 15 minutes of contact. If treated before that time, a reaction may be prevented. First, wash exposed site with cold water (hot water will open your pores, allowing the oil in). Follow this by bathing it in milk, which helps to get between oil and skin. Dry off well and then apply Topricin, which will help neutralize the effect of any remaining urushiol oil left on your skin.
  • Scrub under your nails. You can spread poison ivy to other parts of your body by having the oil on your fingers.
  • Wherever poison ivy grows, there is usually a plant known as jewelweed growing close by—especially in moister, shadier areas. Herbalists and Native Americans have used jewelweed for centuries to treat and speed the healing of poison ivy as it seems to be a natural remedy. When you are in the field and may have been exposed to poison ivy, pick jewelweed, slice the stem, and rub its juice on your skin to ease irritation and help prevent a breakout.
  • Some companies and herbalists offer poison ivy treatment soaps that contain jewelweed and other soothing natural ingredients, such as pine tar. Soaps are available from Poison Ivy Soap Company, Burt’s Bees, or search online for sources.
  • Take homeopathic Rhus Tox 30X tablets to help build immunity to poison ivy.
  • For severe outbreaks, or if you have any concerns whatsoever, see your doctor right away.

SYMPTOMS REQUIRING IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION

If you experience any of the following symptoms, go to the emergency room:

— Trouble breathing or swallowing

— Many rashes/blisters or a rash that covers most of your body

— A rash that develops anywhere on your face of genitals

— Swelling, especially if an eyelid swells shut

About Topical BioMedics, Inc.

About Topical BioMedics, Inc.: Topical BioMedics is a research and development leader in topical natural medicines for pain relief. The company’s product line includes original Topricin Pain Relief and Healing Cream, Topricin Foot Therapy Cream, and Topricin for Children. The natural formulas have been awarded a patent for the topical treatment of pain associated with fibromyalgia and neuropathy, and are safe for diabetics.

Topricin products are made in the U.S.A. and are in compliance with federal rules for homeopathic over-the-counter medicines. Topricin products are growing in popularity and are safe for diabetics and the entire family, including pregnant women. Topricin is also a lifestyle product that athletes and other active people appreciate for its ability to help with performance and recovery.

Topricin formulas contain: no parabens, petroleum or harsh chemicals, are odorless, greaseless and non-irritating, and produce no known side effects. Doctors and pharmacists can find more information about Topricin in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR). http://www.Topricin.com.

###

SOURCES:

Topical BioMedics, Inc.

WebMD

Mayo Clinic

Discovery Health

American Academy of Dermatology

About.com


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Poison Ivy Survival Tips for Fall from Topical BioMedics

Local plant walks show native knowledge

Anna Fialkoff can find something nice to say about any plant. Even poison ivy.

“It has beautiful fall color,” she said.

But that’s about the extent of her praise for the persistent plant, which takes on several different forms – vine, ground cover, shrub – and causes so many people so much discomfort.

Animals, however, said Fialkoff, are usually not allergic to the troublesome weed. Goats actually seem to eat it without a problem.

She did have more positive things to share about other wild plants – natives, weeds and invasive plants – during a recent Native Plant Walk she led at Old Frog Pond Farm, 38 Eldridge Road, in Harvard. A self-described “plant nerd,” Fialkoff grew up in Harvard, and has her graduate degree from Conway School in sustainable landscape design and planning. She is one of the farmers at Old Frog Pond Farm.

Participants in the walk were encouraged by Fialkoff “to feel and touch,” some of the plants.

“I’m a big believer in touching,” she said. “It is part of the identification process of the plant; it helps get ingrained into your psyche what the plant is like.”

As Fialkoff led those in attendance around Old Frog Pond, as well as the farm’s wooded and meadow areas, she pointed out different native species, talking about their medicinal and wildlife benefits.

“I’ve done a lot of thinking about the terms “invasives, pests, exotics,”” she said, noting that the use of certain words to describe plants often echoes one’s feelings about them. Some species, for example, are referred to as “invasives,” but actually are not.

Invasives, such as garlic mustard, crowd out other native plants; the area becomes a “mono-crop,” said Fialkoff.

But other invasives, like the multiflora rose, have some beneficial attributes, she said. The rose hips are high in Vitamin C; it has edible berries, and thick foliage, which hides and protects wildlife.

Another native plant, stinging nettle, sounds from its name as if it might be as troublesome as poison ivy, but actually has more benefits than deficits, she said. The plant, which grows in moist, rich soil (it is especially fond of the earth next to compost piles) has “hairs” with uric acid on their ends, which can cause a rash to unprotected skin.

But Fialkoff said some people intentionally invite the sting of the nettle: arthritis sufferers have found that it lessens their joint pain.

Once the plant is processed (boiled, steamed, dried), Fialkoff said, the nettle loses its “sting” and can be made into a tea, eaten like spinach or made into a pesto. The plant is quite nutritious, high in calcium and iron. Old Frog Pond farmer Linda Hoffman brews the tea in large quantities to spray on her apple orchard, to help boost its immune system, Fialkoff said. The tea is also a good remedy for allergy sufferers.

Jewelweed, an abundantly growing plant with soft, rubbery stems and a bright orange-yellow flower, offers a remedy of another kind: relief from poison ivy’s rash. Fialkoff described how to take the cut stem of the plant and rub the juice of it along the affected area. The plant, including stems, leaves and flowers can also be boiled down, she said, and the resulting orange water frozen in ice cube trays. Once frozen, the cubes can be rubbed over the rash, she said.

Another antidote to poison ivy is offered by the sweet fern. Not a true fern, Fialkoff said, but rather a woody shrub, the plant gives off a spicy, cinnamon smell. Tea made from the plant has a somewhat bitter taste, but is good for digestion and for urinary tract infections.

Fialkoff cautioned that many plants that have medicinal uses could also be toxic and recommended that medicinal plant usage be under the supervision of a clinical herbalist.

Those interested in a Native Plant Walk can contact Fialkoff at 978-456-9828.

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Local plant walks show native knowledge

NEW BUSINESS: The Goatscaping Company

A poison ivy bed. Sumac that makes your skin bristle just thinking about it. Throw in a few rocks, some uneven terrain and a hillock, and you can just forget about that lawnmower.

Clearing this piece of land is going to take heavier artillery.

Or maybe “hoovier” artillery.

This is a job for super goats.

Elaine Philbrick and Jim Cormier don’t have to boldly go where no one has gone before; they let their goats do that.

Their herds of goats gobble up poison ivy, oak and sumac without a single blister, chow down on thorns and heavy vegetation in thickets covering rocks and rocky ledges that defy mowers. Hilly terrain and rocks are, in fact, the goats’ joy in life.

They love to climb – anything.

And they love to eat, just about anything.

Located in Plymouth and Duxbury, this goat company is drawing rave reviews and more and more customers who have discovered an alternative for taming an unwieldy parcel.

The Goatscaping Company had humble beginnings, for Jim Cormier at least, who remembered his 2011 volunteer gig at Colchester Neighborhood Farm. A Plymouth resident, Cormier lost his job with a Fall River book company and his friends, Ron and Conni Maribett, needed help on the farm they managed in Plympton. With nothing much else to do, Cormier headed over one day and filled in, cleaning up after the animals, weeding and helping with the harvest.
“I knew nothing about animals and farms,” Cormier said. “I grew up in Hyannis.So, if someone says ‘farm,’ to me, I think cranberries.”

The months went by, and Cormier found a job at Lowe’s, all the while continuing his work at the farm, which had become a joy for him. He loved the animals in particular, and jumped when Elaine Philbrick, a member of the cooperative farm, contacted him about a goat business.

Philbrick, who owned four goats, told Cormier she planned to rent them to a Cohasset business that wanted a difficult parcel of land cleared.

“Count me in,” Cormier responded.

And from that moment on, he has been up to his eyeballs in goats, contracts for goats and a whole lot of fur.

“If you told me 10 years ago that I would co-own and run a goat business, I would have said you were out of your mind,” Cormier said. “I went to school for broadcasting and film, anticipating a job as a program direction. Never in a million years did I anticipate this. It’s just a weird confluence of things.”

Spend an hour with Cormier and his herd and you might be surprised by how friendly and engaging these creatures can be. They only have bottom teeth and do not bite. But, they do love to be scratched and fussed over, and spend a lot of time playing when there’s no brush to devour.

The Goatscaping Company now has dozens upon dozens of goats happily chewing up brush and clearing inhospitable areas that have plagued landowners for years. In addition to avoiding a nasty rash or worse, customers also find this approach environmentally friendly, since it involves no chemicals and no machinery.

For more information on The Goatscaping Company, visit www.gogreengoat.comor www.facebook.com/goatscaping. To schedule a goat-clearing job, contact the company at gogreengoat@gmail.com or 617-283-4088.

Follow Emily Clark on Twitter @emilyOCM.

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NEW BUSINESS: The Goatscaping Company

Gear We Love: Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser

Gear We Love: Tecnu Poison Ivy Relief

By Dougald MacDonald

Here’s how allergic to poison ivy I am: When I was a kid, I once caught poison ivy in the middle of winter, even though there was a foot of snow on the ground. It was so bad I had to go to the doctor to treat the oozing blisters that threatened to seal my eyes. He said, “It looks like poison ivy…but it can’t be. It’s the middle of winter.”

I still get PI frequently, even in winter. Recently, I caught it twice in one month, from the very same bush. (I’m a slow learner.) I was frequenting a good sunny crag near home, and the best warm-up started with a short finger crack in which the best jam was partially blocked by a small, twiggy bush with white berries. Twice that winter I buried my hand in that bush as I cranked the opening moves. Twice that winter I suffered PI’s itchy wrath. At least now I know what poison ivy looks like when the leaves are gone.

Last weekend I was climbing at a remote crag in Wyoming. Nearly half of the 2.5-mile approach was infested with poison ivy. The leaves are pretty in the fall—all glowing red and yellow—and the oil that blisters your skin is said to be less prevalent in late season. But then again, I’m the guy who gets it in winter. The PI on this approach is so notorious that locals wear gaiters or rain pants, and they carry soap to scrub themselves clean when they get to the cliff. I figured I was doomed.

Fortunately, Andy Burr, Climbing’s senior contributing photographer, was also on this trip. “Tecnu,” he intoned with Graduate-like simplicity. “You get it at Walgreen’s. I keep a jug of it in the shower and scrub with it anytime I suspect poison ivy.”

After wading through those waving fields of PI on the way out from the cliff, I drove straight to the first Walgreen’s I could find, continued home to Colorado, and jumped in the shower. Now it’s four days later and despite a few suspicious bumps and itches earlier in the week, I seem to be PI-free.

Now, I can’t be certain that Tecnu made the difference. But Burr swears by the stuff, and he says he’s just as PI prone as I am. (And, as a professional climbing photographer, he’s constantly wallowing into poison ivy.) I’m a believer.

Tecnu is supposed to work best if you rub it onto dry skin that’s been in contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac within eight hours of exposure, and then rinse it off. But it also can clean your skin of urushiol oil—the nasty stuff in rash-causing plants—after some damage has been done, minimizing the scale and duration of the rash. You can use it to clean packs, clothes, and even pets that come in contact with poison ivy, but I’d be too cautious to wash ropes, harnesses, or other life-safety gear with it.

I’ve had good results with Zanfel (zanfel.com) as well, and it might be the best stuff to use once a rash has flared up. But Zanfel costs about 40 bucks for a 1-ounce tube. I bought a 12-ounce tub of Tecnu (teclabsinc.com) for around $12.

I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: “Thanks, Burr!”

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Gear We Love: Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser

Gear We Love: Tecnu Poison Ivy Relief

Gear We Love: Tecnu Poison Ivy Relief

By Dougald MacDonald

Here’s how allergic to poison ivy I am: When I was a kid, I once caught poison ivy in the middle of winter, even though there was a foot of snow on the ground. It was so bad I had to go to the doctor to treat the oozing blisters that threatened to seal my eyes. He said, “It looks like poison ivy…but it can’t be. It’s the middle of winter.”

I still get PI frequently, even in winter. Recently, I caught it twice in one month, from the very same bush. (I’m a slow learner.) I was frequenting a good sunny crag near home, and the best warm-up started with a short finger crack in which the best jam was partially blocked by a small, twiggy bush with white berries. Twice that winter I buried my hand in that bush as I cranked the opening moves. Twice that winter I suffered PI’s itchy wrath. At least now I know what poison ivy looks like when the leaves are gone.

Last weekend I was climbing at a remote crag in Wyoming. Nearly half of the 2.5-mile approach was infested with poison ivy. The leaves are pretty in the fall—all glowing red and yellow—and the oil that blisters your skin is said to be less prevalent in late season. But then again, I’m the guy who gets it in winter. The PI on this approach is so notorious that locals wear gaiters or rain pants, and they carry soap to scrub themselves clean when they get to the cliff. I figured I was doomed.

Fortunately, Andy Burr, Climbing’s senior contributing photographer, was also on this trip. “Tecnu,” he intoned with Graduate-like simplicity. “You get it at Walgreen’s. I keep a jug of it in the shower and scrub with it anytime I suspect poison ivy.”

After wading through those waving fields of PI on the way out from the cliff, I drove straight to the first Walgreen’s I could find, continued home to Colorado, and jumped in the shower. Now it’s four days later and despite a few suspicious bumps and itches earlier in the week, I seem to be PI-free.

Now, I can’t be certain that Tecnu made the difference. But Burr swears by the stuff, and he says he’s just as PI prone as I am. (And, as a professional climbing photographer, he’s constantly wallowing into poison ivy.) I’m a believer.

Tecnu is supposed to work best if you rub it onto dry skin that’s been in contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac within eight hours of exposure, and then rinse it off. But it also can clean your skin of urushiol oil—the nasty stuff in rash-causing plants—after some damage has been done, minimizing the scale and duration of the rash. You can use it to clean packs, clothes, and even pets that come in contact with poison ivy, but I’d be too cautious to wash ropes, harnesses, or other life-safety gear with it.

I’ve had good results with Zanfel (zanfel.com) as well, and it might be the best stuff to use once a rash has flared up. But Zanfel costs about 40 bucks for a 1-ounce tube. I bought a 12-ounce tub of Tecnu (teclabsinc.com) for around $12.

I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: “Thanks, Burr!”

Read this article: 

Gear We Love: Tecnu Poison Ivy Relief

Poison ivy-eating goats moved in advance of government shutdow

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Poison ivy-eating goats moved in advance of government shutdow

Poison ivy-eating goats moved from New Jersey park in advance of shutdown

More than two dozen poison ivy-eating Nubian goats were moved from a national recreation area in New Jersey in advance of the partial government shutdown.

Since July, the herd has been devouring a poison ivy infestation that has overtaken Fort Hancock. The Sandy Hook mortar battery defended New York Harbor during World War II.

Owner Larry Cihanek tells the Asbury Park Press ;he removed the animals from Sandy Hook and from Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, N.Y., for their own protection because the parks are closed due to the shutdown.

The Sandy Hook Foundation is paying about $12,000 to use the goats to clear the site to make it more accessible to the public.

The animals live on a farm in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

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Poison ivy-eating goats moved from New Jersey park in advance of shutdown

Poison Ivy-munching Goats Removed From NJ Recreation Area Due To Government Shutdown

(credit: GREG WOOD/Getty Images)

(credit: GREG WOOD/Getty Images)

SANDY HOOK, N.J. (AP) — More than two dozen poison ivy-eating Nubian goats were moved from a national recreation area in New Jersey in advance of the partial government shutdown.

Since July, the herd has been devouring a poison ivy infestation that has overtaken Fort Hancock. The Sandy Hook mortar battery defended New York Harbor during World War II.

Owner Larry Cihanek tells the Asbury Park Press he removed the animals from Sandy Hook and from Fort Wadsworth in Staten island, N.Y., for their own protection because the parks are closed due to the shutdown.

The Sandy Hook Foundation is paying about $12,000 to use the goats to clear the site to make it more accessible to the public.

The animals live on a farm in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Poison Ivy-munching Goats Removed From NJ Recreation Area Due To Government Shutdown

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