Poison ivy can be a found as creeper, climber, or a bush. Published records of poison ivy in North America date back to the 1600s when Captain John Smith coined the term 'poison ivy' in 1609. It was introduced to England in 1640.

There are actually two varieties of poison ivy: climbing variety (toxicodendron radicans) which is also known as poison oak in its bushy growths and the non-climbing variety (toxidendron rydbergii) which is also known as Rydberg's poison ivy. However, both species interbreed, look very similar, have the same preferences, and give the same rash thus the differences between them is purely academic. The taxidermic classification is

The irritating factor is that of Urushiol Oil, which comes from the Japanese word urushi meaning lacquer. The origins of this come from the restoration of the gold leaf on the Golden Temple in Kyoto, Japan. It was painted with urushiol lacquer to preserve and maintain the gold and any potential thieves would have a bad case of itching.

Urushiol oil is also a very potent irritant that only requires 1 nanogram (one billionth of a gram) to cause a rash. 0.25 ounces of urushiol oil would give a rash to every person on earth, and 500 people could would itch from the amount on the head of a pin. The oil can stay active for up to five years on any surface, and samples from centuries old sources have caused itching on sensitive individuals.

The oil is part of the sap of poison ivy and appears on all the surfaces of the plants, including that of the roots and berries. Damaging the leaves or berries will release more sap and thus poison ivy rashes are especially common in the spring when leaves are tender.

If you come in contact with poison ivy it is possible to get the oil off of the skin. Aside from numerous products the appropriate procedure is to wash the area with cold water. Hot water will open the pores and allow the oil to move further into the skin. This has the best chance of working within the first hour after contact, though the oil may bond with the skin in less than 15 minutes and water will become less effective. Furthermore, cold water helps to inactivate urushiol. Avoid using a washcloth. Rubbing alcohol is more effective than water and may work within the first 4 hours. The key point in this is to use as much water as possible - using only a small amount will just move the oil around, spreading it rather than removing it.

If the oil is already established and a rash is forming that itches one of the best approaches is to speed it up. By immersing the rash in the hottest water that can be taken the release of histamines (which cause the itching) is drastically accelerated. As these chemicals are used up (and only slowly replaced) it can provide several hours of relief from itching. During the period of heating, the itching will actually become worse as the histamines are released. This does not reduce the duration of the rash, but rather alters the severity of the itching.

see poison ivy rash treatment for more specific information on the treatment of the rash from poison ivy.

For more information (and a significant source for the above information): http://poisonivy.aesir.com/

"Poison Ivy" is a catchy little tune sung by the Coasters - written and produced by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller for Atlantic Records. It reached the top Billboard position in 1959.

It is a comedic allegory, whether of STDs or just unrequited love or a dream/fantasy girl, I couldn't really say. Many of the songs produced by this group were very funny but almost formulaic. For example "Yakety Yak", "Charlie Brown", and "Along Came Jones" are all hilarious and upbeat in a similar fashion. I won't burden the nodegel with the complete lyrics of "Poison Ivy", including all the la la las and repeated verses and choruses but the prime lines follow at the bottom of this W/U.

The Coasters are one of those groups that have "lived on" through the use of younger replacements for the artists. The record label, not the artists, often owned the names of early groups. In fact there are now 2 "official" Coasters groups who still perform and they are certainly not 60 - 70 years old as the original artists must be. The Coasters were one of the first groups to cross over from rhythm and blues to rock and roll and along with Lieber and Stoller were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

LYRIC highpoints
"Poison Ivy"

She comes on like a rose but everybody knows
she'll get you in Dutch
you can look, but you'd better not touch.

Late at night while you're sleeping
Poison Ivy comes a creeping around.

She's pretty as a daisy
but look out man she's crazy.
She'll really do you in
if you let her get under your skin.

Measles make you bumpy,
mumps will make you lumpy,
chicken pox will make you jump and twitch.
A common cold will fool you
and whooping cough will cool you
but poison ivy, lord will make you itch.

You're going to need an ocean
of calamine lotion.
You'll be scratching like a hound
the minute you start to mess around.

On a completely different note, the berry of the poison ivy plant is an important food for many birds in North America. Birds do not get the itch from eating or touching the plant or the oil.

Birds don't digest the seed itself, just the fruity part of the berry...so they fly to the next spot and voila...if one has a lot of birds there WILL be poison ivy showing up in unexpected spots in one's yard. It is fairly easy to control if caught and weeded out while young. I use a double plastic bag over my hand to pull the young plant up, turn it all inside out to cover the plant and then double bag that whole mess again. I've not "caught it" yet, using this method on youngish plants.

In the woods and wilds poison ivy should be left alone to flourish. It is a native plant and has a balance and a place in the North American ecology. It doesn't kill trees the way non-native and invasive vines such as kudzu or ivy do. "Leaves of three, let it be" applies not only to not touching it for one's own sake but to not trying to kill it off everywhere for nature's sake as well.

A villain published by DC Comics. Poison Ivy first appeared in Batman #181 in 1966.

Pamela Elizabeth Isley was the daughter of socialite parents in the Pacific Northwest. A shy and quiet child, Pamela grew up starving for attention, as her parents were often busy with their social lives. Pamela was an excellent student, excelling in science and particularly botany. Pamela had an affinity for plants that she cultivated in her studies.

Because of her home life growing up, Pamela was eager for any type of attention and therefore, often ended up in abusive relationships. While in college, she became acquainted with Dr. Jason Woodrue. Woodrue was a well-known botany professor, who unbeknownst to the world at large was actually a native of an alternate dimension where an animal/plant hybrid was the dominant species. Woodrue, who was also known as the Floronic Man, used Isley in a series of experiments that changed her body chemistry and nearly killed her.

After Isley recovered from Woodrue's experiments, she attempted to find him to discover he had fled. Isley also discovered that she now had the ability to kill simply through her touch. This development drove Isley over the edge.

Isley traveled to Gotham City and adopted a new identity as Poison Ivy. She clashed with Gotham's defender Batman and Isley became infatuated with him. She tried on a number of occasions to gain control of the Dark Knight only to fail. Because she has been deemed mentally ill by the courts, Poison Ivy is usually incarcerated in Arkham Asylum.

Poison Ivy uses her natural ability to exude toxins to incapacitate, kill, and control her opponents. She also uses her knowledge of plants to create new hybrids to assist in her crimes. In the past, Poison Ivy has used giant Venus flytraps and choking vines in her schemes.

In the movie Batman and Robin, the character of Poison Ivy was played by Uma Thurman. Her origin was changed for the movie, having her die and return to life to gain her powers, though Jason Woodrue was the cause in both cases.

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