When I was working with Ruth Sackmans’s organization, the Foundation for Advancement of Cancer Therapies (FACT), I used to speak at their conference every year. I would end my talks with a refrain that was both shocking and funny. I would tell people that if they wanted to avoid getting cancer, or get better if they had cancer, they should jump into a patch of poison ivy. I wasn’t entirely serious. But I was making a point. I was making a point about dosage even before I had heard of the hormesis effect (which I wrote a book about a few years ago). The point was that a small jolt or stimulating agent creates a reaction in the body that then activates the body to respond. And that reaction can jumpstart an immune response, which is a good thing.
I started writing this Musings two weeks ago. Poison ivy was on my mind because it is ubiquitous where I live in NJ. The irony is that a few days after I had finished writing this material, I had a terrible bout with poison ivy — all over my body. Ugh. it was really hideous: blistery, pus-y, itchy, etc.
So, here is what I know about poison ivy.
If you want to get rid of the ubiquitous plant that practically takes over wherever it grows, make note: burning it is NOT a good idea. Burning poison ivy will cause the oil in it, urushiol, to be released into the air. This can then travel to your nasal passages, throat and lungs, and can cause difficulty in breathing. If this occurs, it’s important to seek medical attention quickly. Rather than burning the plant, a salt and vinegar solution, as recommended by Farmer’s Almanac, will do the trick.
Here is both the scientific information about what poison ivy is, and the various treatments for it.
The rash is caused by an allergic reaction to the urushiol oil that is found not only in poison ivy, but poison oak, and poisonous sumac, as well. The best remedy for it if you come into contact with it is to wash it off within an hour. Soap and water is recommended, but rubbing alcohol or vodka are both effective solvents for urushiol.
If you don’t know that you have come into contact with it (and, as probably happened with me, you can get exposed to the oil by petting your dog who has romped through the leaves), then it is likely that you will experience the following symptoms:
This is what you will want to do:
• plaster your skin with either clay or charcoal, or a combination of the two. Wrap in saran wrap to both keep it warm, and to keep it off your clothes; leave on for at least an hour;
• rinse with apple cider vinegar, isopropyl alcohol/vodka, or calendula tincture infused with essential oils;
• plaster with calendula powder;
• keep repeating those steps until the oozing stage is over;
• soothe with any combination of the following: lavender; aloe vera; calendula salve; calendula oil; plantain leaves; jewel weed.
I was doing all those procedures. But it wasn’t going away fast enough. So, I upped the ante. I added a few more things. First, I called my friend and healing practitioner, a master homeopath, Dr. Lawrence Caprio, and asked for his advice. He told me to use Rhos Tox 30 c (homeopathic remedy). He also told me that I wouldn’t be having the intense reaction I was having without being too acidic. He said to alkalize, alkalize, alkalize. So I got out my trusty bicarbinate powder, Get Off Your Acid, created by my chiropractor friend, Daryl Gioffre. And I, indeed, alkalized, alkalized, alkalized.
That was the key that made it go away. Two days later, I was blister-free. My affected skin started peeling off, and nice new skin is now visible where only blisters were before.
But I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to know why I would be so acidic on my vegan diet. I had one more piece of the puzzle to put into the mix of understanding. I remembered the last time I assessed my VOLTAGE on my BioModulator (created by Jerry Tennant, who I have written about in the past), I had tested very low — actually scarily low. I knew that with low voltage, the body doesn’t retain anything good: it can’t hold on sufficiently to oxygen, even with deep breathing or a hyperbaric chamber; it can’t retain healing frequencies.
With low voltage, all attempts to heal will be only temporary. I decided I needed to significantly increase my voltage. I started wearing the BioModulator during the day, and made sure that I hugged “my” tree when I was at my home in New Jersey, and took off my shoes and stood on moss under the tree. And hugged my dog even more than usual. If you don’t understand how all those activities increased my voltage, go to the Musings where I have written about these things in the past.
In the meantime, stay alkaline, and love the NYC trees. They clean our air, and bring us back to the energy we need to have in our bodies.
There is no relationship between nut butters and poison ivy. There is only that they are both on my mind at this moment, for different reasons.
“Nuts which have been cooked, roasted, or otherwise subjected to excessive heat, are harmful on account of the change which takes place in the fat under these conditions. The reaction on the liver and gall bladder is then detrimental and may sooner or later interfere with the complete and proper function of these organs.
“Nut butters are sometimes more readily digested than the nuts themselves provided that neither the nuts nor the butters have been subjected to heat.”
Norman Walker died in 1985. That year, I was already 15 years into studying and practicing holistic health. I had been working with Ruth at FACT, the Foundation for Advancement of Cancer Therapies, for all of those years. Legend, as I heard it back then, was that Walker was around 120 (though we variously heard 113 and 119), and still vigorously romping around the hills of Arizona the day before he died. That information was used then as a good testament to the raw juice regimen that Walker promoted and followed. Had I started my blog Make It To 120 at that point, I surely would have interviewed him, along with some of the other luminaries I have interviewed about their personal journeys of aging (including the late great Burton Goldberg, my “kissing cousin” and friend.
Walker made many valuable contributions to our understanding of what creates health, and what produces ill health. But, he did not live to 120. According to Wikipedia, he lived to only the ripe young age of 99.
Of the many contributions to health that Walker made, one of the most important was that he understood the fragility of oils, and the dangers of heated oils. One of the reasons why nuts taste so good, and why they are healthy, is because of the large amount of oils (fats) in them. Heating nuts has become a health issue in the last several years because of the increasing popularity of nut butters and nut milks. I have written about the specific problem of almonds in the past. To read my past Musings on this subject, click HERE.
Fans of dehydration need to take note here in regard to dehydrated nuts and seeds. They are delicious, and can be flavored exotically and wonderfully. Generally dehydrators are set at the temperature just below where enzymes are destroyed: 115 degrees. But enzymes are not oils, and some oils are degraded at an even lower temperature. Bernard Jensen, the healing practitioner who treated my mother for her terminal cancer (and directed her to the regimen that cured her), was a great fan of nut butters, and maintained that they are easier to digest than the nuts themselves. (BTW, Jensen lived to the ripe young age of 93, and that was after suffering from injuries sustained in a car accident, and sustaining further injury after being dropped from the gurney while at the hospital.) (I know this personal information about him because we had become friends when he was treating my mother, and I am old enough to have lived through his old age with him—knowing him, respecting him, and even loving him. My mother and I traveled every six months for many years to his ranch in Escondido.) As Jensen said, nut butters are a good (and delicious) way of getting in healthy fats. But grinding the nuts into butter does raise the temperature, and the temperature is one of the factors that determine whether the food is good for the body, or toxic. If you want to partake of nut butters, make sure they are processed at a low temperature.