Poison ivy


Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is a plant native to North America that grows well in most areas. Its leaves are arranged in groups of three and vary in size and color during the season. In spring to summer, the leaves are small and red, eventually turning green, glossy, and smooth. In the fall, the leaves may turn red, orange, yellow, or brown.
Poison ivy contains compounds that cause allergic reactions. In the United States and Canada, poison ivy is one of the most common causes of skin rash. Potentially serious reactions may result when poison ivy is used on the skin or eyes or if it is taken by mouth or inhaled.

Related Terms

African poison ivy, Anacardiaceae (family), heptadecylcatechol (HDC) diacetate, oleoresin, pentadecylcatechols, rhus radicans, Toxicodendron radicans, Toxicodendron radicans resin, urushiol.
Note: This monograph covers poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) only; poison oak, sumac, and other members of Anacardiaceae family are covered in other monographs.

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These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.