Thursday, May 16, 2013

Poison ivy, yet again

What: The above is an amalgamation of 23 photos I took of poison ivy leaves last fall (the three leaves are actually leaflets and collectively form a single leaf). I then put the transparency of each image at 1/23 to get the final result. I got the idea from visual artist Jason Salavon.

Last year in my post I wrote about eating the young leaflets as they got bigger and bigger. This April I got a little rash on my wrist (same spot as 2 years ago) and so I decided to try the treatment again. I started as the leaves were first bursting open 2 weeks ago. Each day for a week I ate a tiny leaflet (progressively bigger, starting with a piece about half the size of my pinky nail). I then moved to about once every other day. Plants are less potent when they're young (why you harvest medicinals later on in their life cycles when they can put more energy into their chemical defenses). So as I developed a defense to the urutiol by ingesting the plant, the dosage was getting more and more concentrated as the leaves get older. It's probably too late to start this year if you're interested in this treatment, but maybe next year. And some people have much much worse reactions than I do so I would strongly suggest doing lots of your own research on folk remedies and this type of tolerance-development before trying on your own. You run a risk of having a severe systemic reaction.

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