For Sunday brunch I had a poison ivy sandwich—true story!
Or…How I licked poison ivy!
Last week I told you of my experience with eating bee pollen and how it builds one’s own natural immunity to “seasonal allergens.” I find that I do not need Mystery Babylon’s (MB) drugs to “manage my symptoms.”
Eating bee pollen regularly—almost daily—has provably been the solution for me. I don’t eat poison ivy every day, but I actually did eat it for the first time on Sunday, May 2nd this year.
Let me tell you about my poison ivy “smorgasbord.” This is related, but not all the same information which I had posted in my blog last October 7th, entitled What I did for poison ivy! (A natural remedy from the sycamore tree.)
Growing up on a farm in Ohio, I don’t ever recall breaking out with poison ivy although it was ubiquitous on the farm. I obviously had natural immunity to it as a child.
When I was about 44 years old, we were renting a house in south Asheville. One day Roxanne (my late wife) pointed out the big picture window and said we have a nice crop of poison ivy growing there.
I told her, no big deal; I will take care of it, explaining that I have never had a problem with poison ivy ever since I was a kid on the farm. I had temporarily forgotten that Bible verse which goes something like, Pride goeth before a fall.
So I went outside without taking any precautions. I think it was August and it was an exceedingly hot day, so I figured I’d get a tan at the same time; hence, I had worn shorts and no shirt. Uh-oh!
By that evening I was broke out all over. Despite my self-engineered entry into the weekly Darwin awards (see Glossary under Darwin) contest, my precious wife had compassion and did her best to help me alleviate the symptoms—Calamine lotion et al. It was a good two to three weeks before I was back to normal. Lesson learned!
Some years ago I met a gentleman who was born and raised here in Western NC. We will call him “Billy” for this blog. He’s a few years younger than me. We became friends and one day I was sharing with him about how I had no “seasonal allergies,” a blessing which I attributed to my consumption of bee pollen. He agreed that would work, but he personally did not even need to consume bee pollen as he was constantly in the wild.
This led him to talk about his natural immunity to poison ivy. His grandfather, also having grown up here in the mountains of WNC, had taught Billy when he was a boy how to continue his immunity by consuming a little bit of poison ivy every spring.
Billy then told me how his wife—having grown up in a city in Virginia (I think)— had no natural immunity to poison ivy and caught it every year—for 35 years! About four or five years ago, he related, she had it so bad she had to walk around inside their home sans clothing. It itched so badly she couldn’t bear to have her arms brush against her torso, he said.
So when he offered to her for the umpteenth time, “Are you willing to try eating some now,” she finally relented. And it worked! The next year she was able to work in the garden, pulling out poison ivy with bare hands and—he illustrated with his hand—she only had one little breakout here between her fingers. And since then, nothing. No more breakouts.
So I consulted Billy a few weeks ago to make sure I was not going to “overdose” and once again be in the running for the Darwin award of the week.
So that Sunday, I went outside my home, and with a tongs and scissors, snipped a piece of new-growth poison ivy about the size of my pinkie fingernail. I had also made a fresh batch of sycamore tree tea and had it on standby, just in case. I took about a square inch of bread for top and bottom and spread a bit of butter to keep the leaf in place.
Then I prayed an earnest prayer and proceeded to chew it well allowing the saliva to thoroughly moisten the morsel. I was being very conscious of any slightest hint of a burning sensation or itch inside my mouth. …Nothing. Billy had said to wait until it would have passed through the digestive tract before ingesting a second “dose.” Probably 48 hours would do it, he suggested.
I waited until Thursday, May 6th. I cut another piece of the noxious weed, this one about twice the size of the first one. I had prepared a beef and bean burrito for my dinner, so it then became my beef and bean and poison ivy burrito.
(stock photo of beef and bean burrito)
After taking the burrito out of the (conventional) oven (I eschew the use of microwave ovens for anything), I had opened it up and placed the fresh leaf (uncooked on the bed of beef and beans). I folded it back over and gave it a couple minutes to cool. Then as I ate that tasty burrito, I never noticed when it might have gone into my “gastronomic processing plant” below my throat.
Again, I experienced nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever… So, this past Saturday, May 15th, I prepared my third and final “dose.” This time I was preparing my own veggie pizza, so I thought, Why not? I will just take another small piece of the wicked weed and situate it between some of the black olives and the jalapenos—after it has baked at 450 degrees.
Of course, as I ate, I knew when my taste buds were encountering the jalapenos, but it’s now been about 72 hours since that final dose. No, I am not going to go trying to remove any poison ivy barehanded, but I will “suit up” for the job as soon as my back/leg pain subsides.
All in all, I am grateful to our heavenly Father for bringing me into contact with these wonderful things from His creation. Who knows; maybe it cures cancer, too!
Oh, one more thing. As I was relating this to a friend, she asked, what about poison oak? Billy said it would work equally well for that.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor and therefore I cannot and do not diagnose diseases or prescribe medicine. If you have a medical condition, by all means, consult with a physician. The narrative above is simply a story of my own personal experience and is not meant as medical advice since everyone’s body is different. What worked for me may not have the same effect for you. We disclaim all liability for what you do with the above information.