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From Zero: One Poison and Antidote Nearby | Entertainment

I have a confession. I am enjoying the episode of “Naked and Afraid” (Discovery Channel). I always enjoy camping — setting up tents, setting fires, and cooking on open fire. And I’m convinced that the inherent instinct for self-sufficiency / survival is part of what inspires me to grow some of my food. I often wondered what it was like to live away from the land. So this series is intriguing to me.

The series also surprises me. There are too many “pitfalls” (suspicious water sources, predators, cold / heat), too much sun’s harmful UV rays, insect bites, and too much skin exposed to toxic plants. These are not only plants that are toxic to eat, but also plants that are toxic to the touch.

So imagine it. You have just dropped almost all plants naked into an environment unfamiliar to you, and the sap of some tree species contains oils that cause blisters and a burning rash. How do you know that the cut branches are safe? How about the leaves walking barefoot? As someone who suffers severely from contact with poison ivy, I can only imagine the impossibility of this.

In a recent episode I saw, one member of a duo located on the island of Cayovenard, Mexico, came into contact with the oil of the Chechen tree, also known as black poison wood. The oil is embedded in a sticky substance. Even if the participants had soap that they didn’t have, they couldn’t wash it off.

Of course, I wanted to know more. A search on the internet revealed that the bark of the Chechen tree contained urushiol. This is the same substance as the poison ivy plant. At that time, it was not surprising to know that both plants belong to the taxonomic lacquer family. But I was surprised to find that many plants in this family could be dangerous, many of them me, such as cashew nuts (don’t handle shells!), Pistachios, pepper plants, mangoes, etc. Very convenient for us. A few.

Return to the show. Rather than just horrifying, I was interested when I remembered other team members hearing about the antidote tree. (People embarking on these N & A adventures seem to have received a brief tutorial on local natural history.) She found a nearby Chaka tree (Bursera simaruba), also known as the Gumbo limbo tree, and one of the bark. I brought a club. The partner rubbed it over the rough part of the body. moved.

Of particular interest is the poisonous tree and its antidotes living nearby. In fact, I read on the internet that two of these are actually rooted and growing. Curiously, the two species even look similar. The phenomenon of poison / antidote reminded us of what we have here: poison ivy and jewelweed (Impatienscapensis). Jewel Weed contains a complex Lawson that has been shown to have antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. (Http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/medicinal_plants/pages/Jewelweed.htm)

Apparently, there are additional examples of plants with these opposite / canceling properties. If you want to know more, start here. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-incredible-coincidence-of-a-poisonous-tree-growing-next-to-its-antidote

Even if you don’t care about poison ivy, Jewel Weed is the perfect plant to include in your naturalized borders. The small, bright yellow-orange flowers attract hummingbirds, bumblebees and butterflies. Jewel Weed can be used to fill empty space in the garden. Otherwise, it can be hijacked by non-native weeds. I read that it can even hold itself against the garlic mustard. Jewelweed can be easily propagated by directly sowing fresh seeds in early autumn. Once established, the Jewelweed patch maintains itself through annual seed production. Plant in a damp, partially shaded area and water if water comes out in a sunny area.

Pam Baxter is an avid organic vegetable gardener living in Kimberton.Email directly to pamelacbaxter@gmail.com, Or send an email to PO Box 80, Kimberton, PA 19442. Share your gardening story on Facebook’s Chester County Roots. Big Life Lessons from Nature’s Little Secret, a Pam book for kids and families, is available on Amazon along with her companion field journal, Explore Outdoors. Amazon.com/author/pamelabaxter..

From Zero: One Poison and Antidote Nearby | Entertainment

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