Leaves of three - leave them be!!! Poison Ivy! Kingsport Reviews
Aug 28, 2007
Posion ivy! It can ruin your vacation! This horrible plant has a woody stem and generally shiny green leaves in clusters of three. Hence the saying, "Leaves of Three, Leave them be!" The leaves also appear small and shiny red in spring. Sometimes the leaves are droopy, sometimes perky. Sometimes the plant is low to the ground, others its over a foot tall. Sometimes the plant has berries, sometimes not. Mostly the plant has leaves, but sometimes not. In winter, the plant can loose its leaves and appear as brown sticks growing up from the ground. Sometimes the leaves are shiny, sometimes not. The plant can grow as a bush, a vine, weed looking plant or look like a small tree. It grows in open meadows, along the edge of fields, in sunny areas, in shady areas, along roads and ditches, in mowed areas, under bushes, around trees, on the edge of the woods, the edge of a parking lot and just about everywhere (at least in the US).
The plant contains Urushiol, an oil that causes an allergic reaction with most people. You get poison ivy by touching the plant or touching something that has touched the plant, like your dog or pants. The oils can remain on your clothes even after washing them for up to one year. You can even breathe it in if you mow or burn it. The leaves, stem and roots all contain the oils, so be careful not to touch any part of the plant.
The rash that forms is made up of small red blisters that itch like crazy and can grow quite large and become boils. Try not to itch or pop them. It has been said that the oozing liquid does not cause the rash to spread, but you can't be sure. Wash your hands and your clothes as soon as possible after contact, and often after contact. Try using CalaGel or other itch creme designed to dry out the rash. If you are super allergic like I am, try getting a doctor's prescription for Prednisone. Taking a shower in super hot water can help. Have the hot water running over the rash as hot as you can stand it to help relieve the itch for awhile.
Part of the Southeast US travel blog
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