January 27, 2020

Go Ahead, Little Goat, Eat Some Poison Ivy. It Won't Hurt A Bit

Oh, those goats? I got them from Amazon!

The online giant is testing out a “Home Services” line. You can get a TV mounted on your wall. You can find a plumber. And you can rent a herd of goats to chomp on unwanted vegetation in your yard.

I typed my Maryland ZIP code into “Hire a Goat Grazer.” Sorry, “no providers available.” It turns out that Amazon is wrangling goats only in the Seattle area right now, although a spokesman promises that more cities will be added.

As a goat admirer and editor of a blog called “Goats and Soda,” I wanted to learn more about the grazing habits of goats — especially their alleged immunity to poison ivy. For enlightenment, I turned to Jean-Marie Luginbuhl, professor of crop science and animal science at North Carolina State University.

Why are goats not allergic to poison ivy?

We don’t really know.

Do you have any theories?

If you look at the world population of goats, which is about 937 million, 95 percent of them are within the tropics, north and south of the equator. So they evolved in very arid areas and basically had to survive on plants that contained noxious compounds. So goats evolved this ability to detoxify noxious compounds much better than cattle or sheep [can]. I think that’s one of the reasons.

If a goat ate poison ivy, could I catch poison ivy from that goat’s milk?

Some people have had concern that whatever compound [a goat ate] would be passed into the milk. But it’s not.

And just to confirm: Cattle and sheep might get sick from a plant that wouldn’t bother a goat.

When you look at books that talk about poisonous plants to livestock, a lot of the data are from cattle or sheep. If you see goats eating pokeweed and say, “Wait a minute this is a poisonous plant [to livestock]” — it doesn’t affect goats.

So bring on the goats!

Here in North Carolina I have done work to clear up pastures and an abandoned orchard. We used goats, and they did a wonderful job getting rid of all the invasive vegetation: broadleaf weeds, woody perennials like greenbrier, honeysuckle, black locust, multiflora rose. We have cleared areas full of kudzu [an incredibly invasive vine native to Asia]. We grazed several plots about six times from early June to early October and basically got rid of the kudzu. Maybe 3 percent of it grew back the next year. But if you want to get rid of plants with goats, you have to start early in the spring and [have the goats] defoliate everything, get rid of all the leaves. So the plant has to use root reserves to make the first leaves. And if you do that over and over, these plants spend all of their root reserves and cannot grow anymore.

But I guess you do have to be careful that goats won’t eat plants you like.

If you leave the goats there all the time maybe they will be a little hungry and if they don’t have any green matter to eat, they will start to debark trees because they know the sap is under the bark. They will kill trees. That’s good or bad, depending on the trees.

Can any plant harm a goat?

A lot of ornamental plants are poisonous to goats. Piedmont azalea are not going to necessarily kill goats unless they eat a lot but would make them really sick and throw up. Once they have that experience they would stay away from these plants.

There are a lot of goats in the developing world. Do people there use goats to clear unwanted vegetation?

In Africa they don’t use goats to clean a pasture. But they do use the boughs of whatever woody shrubs are around to feed their goats.

Do goats eat tin cans?

Naw, it’s just a joke. They are very curious. And so they are going to try to eat a lot of things that we see as crazy. But even when they see a piece of plastic they are not going to eat it. They just take it in their mouth and spit it out.

So no to plastic. What about paper?

We had a student working in one of the pastures at a little station where we used to record temperature, soil moisture, wind speed in a notepad. The student put the notepad down to do something with one goat. When she turned around, one month of data had disappeared! She thought she would be fired on the spot. We laughed so hard.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Go Ahead, Little Goat, Eat Some Poison Ivy. It Won't Hurt A Bit

Do you recognize this mystery plant?

Poison ivy isn’t “evil.” Neither are spiders or hurricanes.

Some plants do cause problems, of course. Poison ivy is a “problem” plant for humans in that it causes lots of people to break out in allergic reactions, sometimes severely.

Yet poison ivy is in fact a widespread native species, providing wildlife food for a variety of critters. It is a common component of many natural ecosystems and has been here in our landscapes a lot longer than we humans have.

On the other hand, there are some plants that have not been around very long, relatively speaking. These are the weeds.

Some weeds are rather innocuous, rarely causing problems. But then other weeds are ravenously destructive, showing up in our lawns, gardens, agricultural fields, just about anywhere.

The thing we should remember about weeds, whether benign or destructive, is that nearly all of them have been introduced by humans into a previously weed-free environment. You might think of these introduced species as “guests,” sometimes invited intentionally, sometimes not. The problem with guests, of course, is that sometimes they stay too long.

And then there is our mystery plant.

It is a gorgeous herb, capable of producing masses of beautiful foliage. The sheathing, pointed leaves are produced on flimsy, fleshy stems that flop over and make new roots. I’ve seen some of these plants producing brightly variegated leaves, striped with yellow.

Flowering occurs in the autumn, until frost. Usually, a single flower will pop up at the end of a stem or in a leaf axil. Each flower is about half an inch wide, with three white or pink petals. Small pods form afterward, containing little seeds.

This is a species that occurs naturally in much of southern Asia, from India to Korea and Japan. Here’s the scary thing: It is now a common component of wetland systems in North America, and is surely present in every Southeastern state. It is also known now as a weed in Oregon and Washington.

For a number of years, botanists knew of it in the South only from the coastal plain, but more recently it has invaded piedmont and mountain settings. It is notorious for rampant growth, crowding out everything around it, and it is definitely invasive. How did it arrive?

One theory is that seeds of this plant were introduced — accidentally — into South Carolina late in the 17th century, contaminating rice seed. According to this idea, this species remained confined to rice fields of South Carolina, and then elsewhere in the Southeast, until relatively recently, and then for whatever reasons, it has taken on a new and more threatening behavior, easily spreading into new habitats.

Waterfowl, which like to eat the seeds, are implicated in this spread. The stems root with such ease that it is no surprise fragments of the plants could easily start up after being transported somewhere else.

Although it isn’t “evil”, this plant guest has gained a nasty reputation. And it doesn’t look like it

wants to leave any time soon.

John Nelson is the curator of the A. C. Moore Herbarium at the University of South Carolina, in the Department of Biological Sciences. As a public service, the herbarium offers free plant identifications. For more information, visit www.herbarium.org, call 803-777-8196 or email nelson@sc.edu.

Answer: “Nasty-weed,” “Asiatic dew-flower,” Murdannia keisak


Do you recognize this mystery plant?

Prevention and treatment options for bug bites and poison ivy this summer

With the summertime, comes increased outdoor activity, as well as increased exposure to things such as poison ivy and bug bites.

The majority of Americans are allergic to poison ivy; however, there are things we can do to prevent it from coming into contact with our skin, such as:

1. Knowing how to identify the plant – poison ivy has a cluster of three leaves at the end of a long stem. Hairy vines that you often see growing up the side of trees are also poison ivy.

2. Wearing gloves, long sleeves and pants if you are working outside, and washing them immediately after use.

Bug bites can also be quite the nuisance, and in some cases, quite dangerous. Tick bites, in particular, can cause serious health conditions such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

To prevent tick bites, wear bug repellent spray containing at least 25 percent DEET when spending time outdoors.

In most cases, bug bites and poison ivy rashes can be treated at home using cold compresses and/or hydrocortisone cream to help with the itching.

However, if a rash from poison ivy lasts more than three weeks or if you begin experiencing high fever, achiness, a rash, fatigue and/or headache within a month of a tick bite, you need to seek medical attention.

Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of urgent care facilities throughout the area, from Kernersville to Mebane, dedicated to providing proper treatment to patients who have experienced a common summertime injury or health condition.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Laura Murray is an urgent care specialist at Mebane Urgent Care at Mebane Medical Park.

Dr. Murray received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 1994. She completed her residency in internal medicine at The Ohio State University Department of Internal Medicine in 1997.

Originally posted here – 

Prevention and treatment options for bug bites and poison ivy this summer

Super kids help heroes catch villains

ELYRIA — The wind swirled and dark clouds rolled in off Lake Erie, almost creating the perfect movie-like scene for a villain-filled escapade through downtown Elyria.

Lex Luthor, played to perfection by Tim Misny, held Superman, Supergirl and Power Girl hostage at the Elyria Planet, aka The Chronicle-Telegram, as Poison Ivy and the Scarecrow attempted to rob Fifth Third Bank. Everything was in alignment for nothing, but mischief.

However, there is a flaw in every good plan. And, on this particular day, there were 11 youngsters ready to step in and upset whatever diabolical plan had been hatched.

“Super kids, there has been a prison break and villains are roaming the city,” said Debbie Bryant. “You got your capes. You got your masks. We are counting on you.”

It’s hard to imagine that a group of volunteers pulled off an event that brought smiles to so many faces. But Super Heroes to Kids in Ohio had a simple plan: Make the comic book dreams of a few deserving kids a reality. Months of preparation easily turned into hours of fun with Ely Square, The Chronicle-Telegram, Fifth Third Bank, Donna’s Diner and the Lorain County Justice Center serving as backdrops.

“We just want all of the kids to have fun,” said Brian Chulik, co-founder of the organization. “They are the reason why we do this. They are the real heroes.”

The anticipation of the day was palpable from the moment anyone set foot in Ely Square.

Quentin Guerra, full of 5-year-old energy, grabbed the sides of his green felt cape, let his arm flail out to the side and spun around in wide circles as the cape flapped in the wind behind him.

Nearby, his mother — pregnant with her third child — shook her head with delight and smiled. Quentin was ready for the virtual comic book event to begin, so in the meantime he did his best Superman impersonation.

“That kid right there is my hero,” said Jackie Guerra of Lakewood.

The day, meant to honor kids who have faced medical challenges or adversity, meant so much to Guerra because she has faced medical challenges, having endured seven open-heart surgeries in her lifetime and is on her eighth pacemaker.

Quentin is a happy, healthy boy.

“I guess you can say he is here because of me,” Guerra said. “I wasn’t supposed to have kids, but I had two beautiful, wonderful kids. My baby girl was born in May 2013 and died of SIDS on Thanksgiving. And, through it all, this little boy has been my rock.”

Now, ready to welcome her third child, Guerra said Quentin is still holding her together.

“I have to have iron therapy, but I’m a tough stick,” she said. “The last time I was there and it was especially rough, my Quentin grabs my hand and say, ‘It’s OK, Mommy. Take four deep breaths, and it’s going to be OK’.”

In all, 11 kids were chosen for the experience. They were Trey Kemper, 5; Bobby Miller, 8; William Clark, 2; Sam Mankins, 10; Aidan Wright, 4; Jayden Barber, 6; Carsen Barber, 5; Max Cousineau, 15; Anthony Cuevas, 12 and Will Myers, 11.

The day started with lunch for the super kids and their families at Donna’s Diner sponsored by Jeremy Cares, a nonprofit organization that supports families of kids going through medical treatments. The group started in 2008 in honor of Jeremy George, a leukemia survivor, to pay it forward for families.

George was 17 when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He is in remission and will soon graduate from Kent State University.

In all 70 people enjoyed a meal, said Donna Dove, restaurant owner.

“I had a blast, and those kids were so sweet,” she said.

Once the youngsters were properly fueled and accompanied by the Ohio National Guard Delta Company out of Brook Park, they were ready for the excitement to start.

“Don’t worry. I got this,” Jayden Barber, 6, said to his mother, Charlee Barbee, of Youngstown.

Dressed in his black Spider-Man costume, Jayden was all smiles behind his mask.

Nothing about him said three-time survivor of childhood cancer, yet in his short life Jayden has proved his perseverance. Superheroes, especially Batman, are his favorite escape.

Now, in remission he is just enjoying life and Saturday was eager to kick a little butt.

“We got the Kryptonite,” he said after helping to save Superman from Lex Luthor.

The bald bad guy was led away in handcuff and cheers, but the day kept going with scene after scene of action leading up to a major finale in Ely Square.

“This is really cool to be able to meet superheroes and fight crime,” said 11-year-old Will Myers of North Ridgeville.

Mom Pam Myers said to see her son getting in on all the excitement was wonderful, but also a little bittersweet. He’s a healthy kid and she is a healthy woman. Her story is not punctuated with surgery counts, chemotherapy tallies and tales of near death.

“He’s a hero because he’s a great kid,” she said. “He helps everyone. I think that’s really heroic, too.”

The Super Heroes to Kids in Ohio agreed too.

“We can all be superheroes every day,” said Stephanie Cirilo. “We’re heroes when we help our friends, do the right thing and treat others with respect. We are heroes when we never ever give up. Never let anyone tell us to give up and know we can do anything.”

The youngest super kid was 2-year-old William Clark of Lorain.

His cape didn’t flap in the wind as high as other,s but that’s only because his mom tucked it between him and his walker so it wouldn’t blow away. William, born with spinal bifida, moved all over Ely Square with such speed its hard to imagine he will be in leg braces and need a walker for the rest of his life.

“But with God’s will, we never know,” said his mother, Teresa Clark. “He has never let anything and especially his walker, stop him from doing and going where he wants to do. He is a happy little boy.”

The day meant a lot to the mom.

“It’s a good thing for kids with special needs,” she said “It was a day just celebrating them.”

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.


Super kids help heroes catch villains

Focus 2014 Part 2: An itch to innovate sparked Tec Labs

Evelyn Smith of Corvallis had two things in 1962 that helped to change the world: small children and a yard full of poison oak.

The wife of chemist Robert Smith, a former executive with Mead Johnson, Evelyn was tired of the two youngest of her five children coming in from the yard and developing itchy rashes. So she went out one day and, barehanded, yanked up each plant.

She cleaned up with a waterless skin cleanser originally meant to remove the radioactive dust from nuclear fallout. It had been sitting around the house since Robert had invented it. Afterward, she told a neighbor about her efforts.

The neighbor wanted to know: Did the poison oak affect her, too?

Actually, Evelyn said, it hadn’t. Later, she told her husband about the yardwork and mentioned the cleanser.

According to Tec Labs lore, Robert initially brushed off the whole incident as a case of “puny” poison oak, not nearly as potent as the plants in their native Iowa. To prove it, he rubbed a patch on his arm.

Gary Burris, Tec Labs’ director of public relations, doesn’t have on record whether Robert ended up saying anything along the lines of, “I’m sorry, dear, you were right.”

But his arm did break out in a rash. And he did test the cleanser on a new patch of skin.

And that’s how Tec Labs’ signature product, Tecnu, was born.

Robert found the product kept the oil in both poison oak and poison ivy from bonding with skin, which meant it not only kept the rash from spreading, but could keep it from forming in the first place.

Out of the garage

Over the next nearly four decades, Tecnu helped Tec Laboratories grow from its home in the Smith garage in Corvallis to a 58,000-square-foot building in Albany. It now employs 35 people full time; more during the summer season.

The pharmaceutical manufacturer now has six products under the flagship Tecnu brand, and another three under its increasingly popular LiceFreee line.

Burris estimates Tec Labs has sold some 53.3 million units of its various products since 1977, and can find its products in more than 47,000 stores. Chief Executive Officer Steve Smith — Robert’s son and brother of Vernon Smith, the company’s vice president of operations — is proud to note at least one Tec Labs product is on the shelf of every chain drug store in the United States.

Steve Smith is careful about giving away any plans for future products, but the company is always on the lookout for new ideas.

Anytime Tec Labs hears from a customer who’s pleased with one of its products, Steve said, “We’ll ask, ‘What other problems do you have?’ We’ll see if there’s an opportunity there. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t.”

Burris said every employee who goes to a conference or a trade show is asked to come back with a list of 10 ideas, maybe about something impressive they saw, or maybe about a perceived gap in possible service.

Regulatory Affairs Director Wendy Langley is one of those employees, although her idea came from first-hand experience.

In the late 1990s, Langley was among moms struggling with the bane of elementary school classrooms everywhere: head lice.

Available products at that time were runny, smelled like bug spray and didn’t even work, as far as Langley was concerned. “I thought there just had to be another way.”

Research took her to a folk remedy centered on sodium chloride: table salt. She worked to formulate the salt into a gel that would hold its place on a child’s head, a concoction that became LiceFreee.

The product immediately took off, but Langley didn’t stop thinking about ways to improve. A spray-on solution would be even easier to use, she thought, and might even work more effectively.

“And I tried it in the lab, and it did, and I thought, cool,” she remembered. Three years ago, LiceFreee hit the market.

Poison oak is a North American peeve, Steve Smith said, but lice is a problem worldwide. That’s part of the reason he’s working on taking Tec Labs solutions to an international level.

Burris said Tec Labs builds its whole culture on looking at the big picture, both for the care of its customers and its employees.

“The one thing we do is look at problems that are driving everyone crazy, that we can solve better than anyone else has,” he said. “We’re looking at symptom-driven ailments. If we can solve it better, for a good price, it really is amazing to people.”

It all goes back to Evelyn, he said: “If it wasn’t for a mom trying to protect her kids, we wouldn’t be here today.”

Contact Jennifer Moody at jennifer.moody@lee.net.

Visit source:

Focus 2014 Part 2: An itch to innovate sparked Tec Labs

ORRIN MORRIS: Jewelweed can reduce itch caused by poison ivy

JEWELWEED Impatiens capensis

JEWELWEED Impatiens capensis

The announcement that the Messiah was born was made to a group of shepherds. If the story was fictional, the writer would certainly not have chosen the angelic announcement to be given to shepherds. Surely he would have chosen a group of religious leaders like priests or pharisees. On a less lofty level one might have chosen the text copiers, or scribes.

The choice of shepherds vindicates the authenticity of the Scriptural account since they were not the logical choice from a human perspective.

Furthermore, they were the most likely to be free from the hustle and bustle of city and farm chores and thus likely to pay attention to the angelic proclamation.

Finally, since they were among the least of occupations, the wording of the announcement struck an important note to their hearing.

The angels said, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10 KJV).” To all people, including the lowly shepherds. Indeed, the coming of the Messiah brings great joy and that joy is for all people.


Impatiens capensis

Jewelweed is a plant which has a name that is descriptive of its shape. The name has two possible origins, both from its appearance.

First, the blooms hang from the branch on slim stems, called pedicels, reminding one of a jewelry pendant. Second, one botanist noted that the leaves are “heavily glaucous,” thus repelling water. In a light rain, the droplets that don’t roll off glisten like tiny jewels.

Jewelweed thrives in moist places. This 3 to 6 feet tall plant appears as early as May and blooms until frost unless an extended dry spell kills it. The blooms in our area tend to be orangish-yellow with small brown spots. In the north Georgia mountains I have seen reddish-orange Jewelweeds.

The bloom is trumpet shaped with three lips. At the back is a curved spur.

A second name for jewelweed is touch-me-not. After pollination, the seed pod slowly forms with five sections. When it matures the slightest touch makes the case explode, projecting the seeds in all directions.

This plant has been a source of yellow dye since colonial times. The herbalist, Euell Gibbons, championed the juice for reducing the itch of poison ivy.

Our ancestors learned the value of jewelweed from American Indians throughout the Eastern tribes. They used it for a skin salve, treating athletes foot and fungi problems. One Delaware tribe made a poultice for wounds, according to Jack Sanders in his book, “Hedgemaids and Fairy Candles, The Lives and Lore of North American Wildflowers.”

May the good tidings of great joy be delivered to your family and community by your activities during this Advent season.

May the good tidings of this season be evident in all you do and say this holiday and throughout the coming year.

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. To purchase a two-volume set of books featuring his wildflower columns, visit the Nature Seen Gallery & Frame Shop, 914 Center St. in Olde Town Conyers, or call 770-929-3697 or text 404-824-3697. Email him at odmsketchingpad@yahoo.com.

Excerpt from: 

ORRIN MORRIS: Jewelweed can reduce itch caused by poison ivy

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.”


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.


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.



Topical BioMedics, Inc.


Mayo Clinic

Discovery Health

American Academy of Dermatology


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Poison Ivy Survival Tips for Fall from Topical BioMedics

Beware of Poison Ivy

ACROSS WNY- A hike in the outdoors is a peaceful and beautiful experience, but it always pays to know your surroundings. There are a lot of things in the environment that can cause harm if one is not careful,and many of these organisms are hiding in plain sight, so awareness is key.

Poison Ivy is a perfect example. Dave McQuay of NY State Parks says the plant is abundant throughout the region, and learning to identify it is a must for anyone spending time outdoors.” They always say leaves of three let it be, and often Poison Ivy takes on different forms, it can be a small plant, it can be shrub like, or it can vine up trees.If it vines up, you want to look for the hairy roots going to the bark, usually brown in color.”

Coming in contact with the plant is not fun. Damaging the leaves or stem releases an oily compound called Urishiol which can cause a serious rash on those who are allergic to it. ” The oil leaches out of the leaves” says McQuay ” and absorbs through the seven layers of your skin, your body reacts to that,and it actually causes inflammation and your body produces a rash if you’re allergic to.”

Native to North America,the plant has been thriving for centuries. Throughout the years, Poison Ivy has been both bane and benefit to different cultures. McQuay explains.” One of the first infections a European got in North America was Captain James Cook coming down with a case of Poison Ivy. Native Americans used it, they had different ways to develop immunity,they would use the flexible vines to make baskets, in California they would smoke salmon with the skewers made from Poison Ivy.”

As nasty as it can be to the human species, McQuay says the exact opposite is true with many animals. ” Over sixty species of birds ingest the berries, Black Bears, White Tail Deer, rabbits and muskrat love to eat the seeds . Woodpeckers, warblers and thrushes relish the berries, so it is used by wildlife.”

Poison Ivy also is beneficial to the environment in other ways, so eradication is not feasible. Unfortunately, studies have found that due in part to climate change, the toxic oil that can cause so much damage is also becoming more potent. ” With the increased levels of carbons in the air, the Poison Ivy is becoming five percent stronger in Urishiol oil, which will cause the rash. McQuay continues ” Poison Ivy is definitely getting stronger as our environment changes and warms.”

All of this information is not meant to terrify, only to educate. As with much of our environment, knowledge goes far to keep from turning a hike in the woods to trip to the hospital. ” Learn to identify it, learn to avoid it like you would a poisonous snake, it shouldn’t stop you from going out there and enjoying the great outdoors, and be aware on sunny edges and stream banks and things it can grow there, and that’s a spot you really want to watch for it.”

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Beware of Poison Ivy

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