What Is It Good For? Poison Ivy and Other Toxicodendron Species

philosophy, Plants
[caption id="attachment_18375" align="alignright" width="460"] Poison Ivy Leaves[/caption] Toxicodendron radicans is the Latin name for poison ivy. Images of various aspects of the weed are included in this article. An attempt at providing a thorough physical description of it can be found elsewhere at the reader's convenience. We wish to discuss whether there is at least one useful purpose for the presence of this apparently noxious weed on this "good earth". In discussing it, we encompass poison oak, poison sumac, and other plants. A Kind of Mission Statement In discussing T. radicans, we will consider all of its component parts. No, we will not give an encyclopedic description, as is commonly found in comprehensive articles. Instead, we will demonstrate the plant's better aspects. Personal Contact Most of us steer clear of…
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Jewelweed and Its Special Ingredient Lawsone – Poison Ivy Begone?

Chemistry, Plants
[caption id="attachment_17591" align="alignright" width="480"] Jewelweed - Image by Fritz Geller-Grimm CC by SA 2.5[/caption] Orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)1 commonly grows in ditches along roadsides at the edges of moist forests. Lore has it that the sap of this plant rubbed onto poison ivy rash quickly alleviates the itching. Could there be a scientific basis for this popular notion? Perhaps. Let’s begin our consideration by discussing the active principle in both poison ivy and jewelweed. Poison Ivy and Urushiol Urushiol is not a single compound, but a mixture of similar compounds that have the generic chemical structure show in the image associated with this article. R represents an alkyl chain that typically contains 15 to 17 carbon atoms that contain varying numbers of double bonds. The greater the number of double…
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