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Eat Poison Ivy: Build Immunity?

Is it true that you can become immune to poison ivy's itch by ingesting a small bit of the leaves?

Question:

I have a friend who is a city arborist. He knows a bit about plants as well as trees. He told me that it was possible to build up a relative immunity to poison ivy by ingesting the leaves of the plant in small doses over time. Is this true?

Submitted by - Josh, Knoxville, TN

Answer:

Back in April 1987 a study on ingesting poison ivy to develop immunity was reported in the Archives of Dermatology. The report said it didn’t work. But cases of severe reactions in the mouth of people who have tried a nibble of poison ivy are well documented. The future may bring a pill that decreases sensitivity to poison ivy, oak, and sumac, and the pill may be derived from the plants, but no doctor I have ever talked to recommends eating poison ivy, no matter how small the bite.

1 Comment

  1. Lauren

    I have a severe allergic reaction to poision ivy and it never once did any damage to my stomach when I accidentally ate it. I always tried to eat it when I was little, but I never got sick at it. For some reason I have always wanted to be immune to poision ivy but I said to my mother that I would stay away from it, even though she said it was grown in the garden of hell. I would love to say to poision ivy… I HATE YOU POISON IVY😡😡😡😡😡😡

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