Poison Ivy/Poison Oak
Steve Eisenberg (Sandalfoot@AOL.COM)
Fri, 16 Jun 1995 23:48:09 -0400
DO NOT EAT POISON IVY IN ANY FORM!!!!
Despite the fact that I am a Cubmaster most of my waking hours,
occasionally I practice Dentistry for income (to support my scouting habit).
I searched several Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology texts and could find no
references to intraoral lesions caused by plants though there are a number of
chemicals & metals that could produce an intraoral contact dermatitis (an
acute or chronic inflamation, often sharply demarcated, produced by
substances in contact with the skin).
I talked with a Dermatologist who said that in the 1940's, several
military MD's tried to desensitize army recruits to PI/PO by having them
injest minute amounts of the plant. It was never shown to work and was
discontinued. Reports of sucess to the contrary, all mention of the trials
were dropped from the textbooks in the 1960's. He also stated that he doubts
that anaphylaxis (an acute, often explosive, systemic reaction that occurs in
a previously sensitized person who again receives the sensitizing antigen)
would occure injesting Poison Ivy.
Anyone who eats the plant runs the risk of developing vesicular lesions
on the oral mucosa. Anyone who has experienced a similar lesion in the mouth
from viruses such as herpes, herpangina, hand-foot-and mouth disease, chicken
pox will tell you that they are not fun to have. The best prevention is
Steve Eisenberg, D.D.S.
Fellow, Academy of General Dentistry
CM Pack 373
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City