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found an interesting article on urushiol. one thing new to me from it:

The treatment for the exposure to urushiol is as varied as the plants themselves. Curiously, both the Chinese and Native Americans treated exposure to urushiol by rubbing crab or crayfish meat on the affected area -- long before any resemblance of modern medicine or chemistry existed. [Thomas E.] Anderson also wrote that as far as he knew no present day research has been done on the effects of the crustaceans on urushiol, although the ancient Chinese had discovered that some property found in the animals stopped polymerizing.

another, even more interesting as it supports my hypothesis about the Northern California natives being immune to its effects:

An example of ACD [Allergic Contact Dermititis] that surprises many people is the occurrence of “mango mouth,” when someone eats a mango and then develops a red rash around their mouth. People already sensitized to poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac can display mango dermatitis after their first contact. In Israel, a group of American tourists from Northern America engaged in mango picking and all 17 of them developed rashes. The three patients who had no prior exposure to urushiol experienced milder outbreaks. None of the 15 Israelis, showed any presence of mango dermatitis. Mangos only grow in a few areas of Israel, and many Israelis first come into contact with urushiol through ingestion, possibly creating immunological tolerance in the gut.

also see the cited references. excellent stuff.

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last updated 2014-08-21 04:14:50. served from tektonic