Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Mango-Poison Ivy connection

Did you know that the two are related?

I didn't. But I've learned now with the arrival of mango season in Chennai that Nicholas is sensitive to mangoes. I haven't determined yet if it's the skin or the flesh as I serve them up sliced off the seed with the skin still intact. They are quite messy for the kids this way but it saves my hands from getting all juiced up.
Nicholas has a rash on his face, under his mouth, along his chin and up his cheeks. We thought it might have something to do with Woof Woof, his mangy dog he carries around and rubs on his face (ew) but this morning after his breakfast (of mango...) a lightbulb went off. And no wonder cortizone isn't helping as he eats mangoes quite a bit now; each time he starts to heal he gets all juicy again.
From the Discovery Channel - Poison Ivy and Mango: "They're both in the cashew family, and both contain a substance called urushiol (yu-roosh'-ee-all). It's the poison in poison ivy, the cause of the blisters and itching. The mango contains much, much less of the irritant than poison ivy, but despite that, some very sensitive people can get a rash just from handling mango peel and being exposed to its sap. Luckily, more often than not, even sensitive people can enjoy the delectable fruit of the mango, provided someone else peels it for them."
He ate mangoes fine, as far as I can recall, in the Philippines and Togo but they had been peeled and cut up, so my bets are that the skin is at fault.
Looks like I need to get my hands dirty.

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