What makes poison ivy itch?

The leaves and stem of poison ivy contain a poisonous oil that is very irritating to the skin.

Poison Ivy is one of the most common and  most-feared poisonous plants in North America.   Few people can touch the leaves or berries without being poisoned.

Shiny Green Leaves

The poison is an oil that is extremely irritating to the skin, causing it to blister and itch.

Some people are poisoned much more easily than others.

Because poison ivy is very common, everyone who goes into the woods and fields should learn to recognized it.  It always has three leaflets on each leaf.

Remember the warning, “Leaflets three, let it be!”  Poison ivy may grove as a vine twining on a fence or as a bush.

The leaves are shiny green in the summer, turning scarlet in fall.  Later in the season clusters of poisonous white berries form.

After the oil has touched the skin, it is wise to sash several times with plenty of soap and water. – Dick Rogers


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