What I’ve learned about poison oak or Young foragers tales (as opposed to old wives tales)

1.  Just because you didn’t get it last time you were in the woods doesn’t mean you won’t get it this time

2. When you’re in the woods and feel the urge to relieve yourself, don’t.  hold it until you can wash your hands.

3. Clean and Clear cleanser keeps a rash down like nothing else (not sure why)

4. Don’t scratch your ear (or your stomach, or your face, or your legs, or your neck) when in the woods

5. The people who tell you to scrub the rash until it bleeds are completely insane

6. Baths are bad

7. Lukewarm showers are good

8. Red wine is bad

9. If there is a god, he is a spiteful god for making scratching feel so good.

10. Last word. Technu. It’s a miracle soap.


~ by foragesf on November 23, 2009.

4 Responses to “What I’ve learned about poison oak or Young foragers tales (as opposed to old wives tales)”

  1. Hard won lessons, I’m sure. I’ve also heard many a tale about the benefits of a tincture from Herb Pharm called Soothing Oak and Ivy.

  2. The best method for getting rid of it in my experience is to sit in a bath full of really cold, salty water for as long as you can. The cold water doesn’t move the oil that spreads the poison oak around, and the salt dries out places that are already itching.

    Or just go sit on the ocean.

  3. You should know about Zanfel! http://www.zanfel.com/ It’s a very useful product, and clears up the rash even better than Tecnu. It’s expensive, but Walgreens has a generic version for about half the price.

  4. poison oak for california natives was a very useful plant. basketry from the stems, leaves used to wrap roasting bulbs, and they would even throw it into their acorn bread. The sap was considered a cure for warts and since it turns black when it dries it also made a good dye. They seemed to not be allergic to it and there are still people who eat a few small green poison oak leaves each spring to build up an immunity to it for the rest of the year. It’s also a great forage plant for native pollinators and goats love to eat it.

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