Toxicodendron radicans sounds sooooo scary. But for the informed, it’s no big deal – it’s just poison ivy. Well, it’s not a big deal if you aren’t driving yourself mad by scratching your skin raw.
The latest Reactions video from American Chemical Society teaches us a few useful things about poison ivy. First, if it has leaves of three, let it be. Second, the offensive part of the plant contains a compound called urushiol that seeps into the skin and causes an allergic reaction. Third, your grandma’s home remedy is actually a pretty effective way to relieve symptoms.
The video is hosted by Jennifer Novotney, winner of the 2014 Chemistry Champions science communications competition. Check out this short video to learn grannie’s secret.
Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior digital editor. Thankfully, she has never experienced the discomfort of poison ivy. You can email her at email@example.com.