Monday, March 23, 2009

Urushiol and mangoes

Just got back from Costa Rica late last night. Amazing trip, will post pictures soon. But at the moment, I feel compelled to write not about our trip but about an experiment I want to conduct on our kid.

When I was in Costa Rica, I ate mangoes. Because they are so, so good. I knew I was a little bit allergic to them, but it's been so long since I had one and I decided I didn't care. Well, as usual my mouth broke out. But I also got a rash on my hands, and yesterday I saw that it had spread to my legs. Itchy but not too itchy. A brief internet search this morning clears all this up. Mango is not actually in the fruit family, but is in the same family as poison oak and poison ivy. Which I am very, extremely allergic to. Apparently the skin of the mango contains an oil very similar to urushiol on the leaves of poison oak and poison ivy. If you've shown a previous reaction to poison oak or ivy you will likely show a reaction to mangoes.

BUT. Individuals from Israel who were first exposed to Mangoes, then to poison oak/ivy didn't show allergic reactions to either. My plan is to have my kid eat mangoes. Hopefully help him develop immunity to poison oak/ivy, which my dad and brother are also horribly allergic to. Any dermatologists out there? This is a study just crying to be conducted. My one data point will hardly be sufficient, but it is a compelling possibility. The idea of limiting poison oak/ivy allergies makes me giddy.

1 comment:

  1. Oooo--make that two data points. I totally am going to try this with Helena. Thanks for the info!