Today’s post idea comes as a response to help my friends who are in danger of unwittingly becoming the victims of a horrific case of poison ivy.
I’ve been the sufferer more times than I can count of a case of poison ivy. The itching, oozing, crusty puffiness is miserable. All the ointments in the world only alleviate the symptoms. They don’t really get rid of it. The dreaded affliction must run its course.
The worst case I had was when I went to summer camp. One night, our camp counselors wanted to give us the quintessential camp experience so they built a big bonfire for us to roast marshmallows and sing camp songs. Unfortunately for me, the tree limbs they burned had poison ivy on them which I inhaled in the smoke. I developed a systemic reaction and became covered inside and outside of my body with poison ivy. Misery — Pure Misery. I had allergy shots after that experience and avoided the plant like the plague.
The best way though not to get a case of poison ivy is to recognize it and avoid it. Poison ivy has three leaves. A very common saying is “Leaves of three, let it be” and “has been cited in print since 1907” according to this site I found. The leaves can be very small when they first unfurl in the spring but can become quite large like the one below which is about the size of a salad plate.
Poison ivy is a vine that will go up trees and send out runners across the ground.
Virginia creeper is often confused with poison ivy but virginia creeper is not poisonous. Although, the berries that form on virginia creeper are toxic. Virginia creeper has five leaves and like poison ivy, the plant sends out runners and climbs trees, fences, and structures.
Virginia Creeper working its way up a tree.
Poison ivy on the left and virginia creeper on the right.
- Article from the CDC
- Article from Mt. Rainier Cabins
- Pictures of Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac
- Photos of the rash
- Information about burning Poison Ivy
Remember ‘leaves of three, let it be ‘ — I hope you have an itch free summer!
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3 NIV Bible