Abstract Poison ivy, with the possible exception of ragweed, is assuredly, from the medical point of view, the biggest plant nuisance in this country. Botanically, poison ivy belongs to the Anacardiaceae, which is a large family, most of whose members are tropical or sub-tropical. Many useful plants are included in this family; among them are the cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale), the marking nut or Indian ink tree (Semecarpus anacardium), the pistachio nut (Pistacia vera), the mango (Mangifera indica), the lacquer tree (Rhus verniciflua). There are, of course, many other members to this family, many of which are quite ornamental, such as some of the sumachs. In this country there are two "poisonous" members of this family, namely, poison ivy and poison sumach.* Poison ivy is the name given to a group of closely related plants of diverse leaf appearance and growth habit which are botanically known as References 1. This is not strictly correct, in that there are other poisonous species in this country, e. g., Metopium, but these have such a limited distribution—the southern half of Florida or less—that for practical purposes they can be ignored. 2. Yungstroem was a Swedish gardener who accompanied Kalm on his travels. 3. This, unfortunately, has quite a modern ring to it. 4. The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles: with the Names of the Adventurers, Planters, and Governors, from their first beginning, Anno 1584, to this present 1624; with the Proceedings of those several Colonies, and the Accidents that befell them in all their Journies and Discoveries. Also, the Maps and Descriptions of all those Countries, their Commodities, People, Government, Customs, and Religion, yet unknown. Divided into Six Books. By Captain 5. References 16 and 17. John Smith, Sometime Governor in those Countries, and Admiral of New England. Taken from: A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in All Parts of the World; Many of Which are Now First Translated into English. Digested On A New Plan. By John Pinkerton, Author of Modern Geography, &c. &c. Illustrated with Plates. Volume the Thirteenth. London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, Paternoster-Row; and Cadell and Davies, in the Strand. 1812. (The quotation is from Page 172 of Book V, entitled: The General History of the Bermudas, now called the Summer Isles, from their beginning, in the Year of our Lord 1593, to this present 1624, with their Proceedings, Accidents, and present Estate.) 6. Cornut, J. P.: Canadensium Plantarum aliarumque nondum editarum historia , Parisiis, 1635. 7. Penhallow, D. P.: A Review of Canadian Botany from the First Settlement of New France to the 19th Century: Part I , Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada , 1887, Vol. 5, Sec. (4) , p. 45. 8. An account of the Poyson Wood Tree in New-England. By the Honourable Paul Dudley, Esq. F.R.S. Communicated by John Chamberlain , Esq. Philosophical Transactions , Vol. XXXI, Numb. (367) , Page 125. For the Years, 1720, 1721. 9. Travels into North America; Containing Its Natural History, and a Circumstantial Account of its Plantations and Agriculture in General, with the Civil, Ecclesiastical, and Commercial state of the Country, the Manners of the Inhabitants, and several curious and important Remarks on various Subjects. By Peter Kalm, Professor of Oeconomy in the University of Abo in Swedish Finland, and Member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences. Translated into English by John Reinhold Forster, F.A.S. A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in all Parts of the World: Many of Which are now First Translated into English. Digested on a New Plan. By John Pinkerton, Auther of Modern Geography, etc. Illustrated with Plates. Volume the Thirteenth, pages 400-404. London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, Paternoster-Row; and Cadell and Davies, in the Strand. 1812. Kalm's Travels are also available as The America of 1750. Peter Kalm's Travels in North America. The English Version of 1770. Revised from the original Swedish and edited by Adolph B. Benson, Professor of German and Scandinavian in Yale University with A Translation of New Material From Kalm's Diary Notes in 2 Volumes. New York. Wilson-Erickson Inc. 1937. 10. Dufresnoy, A. I. J.: Biographische Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte aller Zeiten und Völker , Ed. 2, Berlin, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1930, Vol. 2, p. 331. 11. An Experimental Dissertation on the Rhus Vernix, Rhus Radicans, and Rhus Glabrum: commonly known in Pennsylvania by the names of Poison-Ash, Poison-Vine, and Common Sumach. Submitted to the examination of Reverend John Ewing, S.T.P. Provost; The Trustees, and Medical Faculty of the University of Pennsylvania on the twenty-second day of May, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight. For the Degree of Doctor of Medicine. By Thomas Horsfield, of Bethlehem, Penn.:: Member of the Medical and Chemical Societies of Philadelphia. 12. Bigelow, J.: Rhus Vernix, in American Medical Botany , Boston, Cummings and Hilliard, 1817, Vol. 1, p. 96. 13. Busey, S. C.: Poisoning by the Rhus Toxicodendron , Am. J. M. Sc. 66:436, 1873.Crossref 14. White, J. C.: On the Action of Rhus Venenata and Rhus Toxicodendron upon the Human Skin , New York M. J. 17:225, 1873. 15. Von Adelung, E.: An Experimental Study of Poison Oak , Arch. Int. Med. 11:148, 1913.Crossref 16. Brown, E. D.: Experiments on the Variability in Susceptibility to Poison Ivy , Arch. Dermat. & Syph. 5:714, 1922. 17. Krause, G. L., and Weidman, F. D.: Ivy Poisoning , J. A. M. A. 84:1996, 1925. 18. Sulzberger, M. B., and Katz, J. H.: The Absence of Skin Irritants in the Contents of Vesicles , U. S. Nav. M. Bull. 41:1258, 1943. 19. Burrill, J. T.: Some Vegetable Poisons , Proc. Am. A. Adv. Sc. 31:515, 1882. 20. Rostenberg, A., Jr.: Concepts of Allergic Sensitizations: Their Role in Producing Occupational Dermatoses , Indust. Med. 23:1, 1954. 21. Rostenberg, A., Jr.: Studies on the Eczematous Sensitization: IV. Sensitization to Metadinitrobenzene and Its Relation to 2:4 Dinitrochlorobenzene , J. Invest. Dermat. 24:337, 1955.
A.M.A. Archives of Dermatology – American Medical Association
Published: Nov 1, 1955