Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 8, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 10


Mountain View News Saturday, July 8, 2023 


Meet Rajah & 

These two are just the cutest little 
orange and white boys!! They are 
bonded brothers, only 3 months 
old. Butters, who wears the most 
white, is a quiet kitten but extremely 
playful and fun. Loves head and 
chin rubs, and having his body scratched. Likes to sit by the 
screen door and watch the birds that come to the porch to eat. 
At the end of the day he likes cuddling up anywhere warm and 
having a good sleep. 

Rajah, orange tabby, is full of energy and loves playing all day, 
but then has a good nap when he gets tired. Very independent and doesn't like being held 
for too long, but enjoys a good head rub. Soon as he's rubbed he begins to purr very loudly. 
After a full day of running around with his brother Butters and doing some bird watching 
through the screen door he will climb on the cat tree and sleep like the baby he is! Adopt 
these boys together. See more pictures and adoption info at, the 
“More Cats” page.



[Nyerges is the author of 
“Guide to Wild Foods and Useful 
Plants,” which includes a 
chapter on poison oak. He has 
led ethno-botanical walks since 
1974. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.
com, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041]


Both poison ivy and poison oak are widespread 
vining plants which contain the 
chemical urushiol. When the bare skin 
comes into contact with urishiol, an itching 
irritating rash can result. Poison ivy is 
much more widespread of the two, found 
widely east of the Rockies all the way to the 
Atlantic coast. Here in California and in the 
Western states, you’ll find poison oak. It can 
be found north into Canada, and south into 
Baja California.


Poison oak’s leaves are composed of three 
roundish leaflets. You’ve all heard the slogan 
‘Leaflets three, let it be,’ right ? (For 
the record, poison oak isn’t the only plants 
with three leaflets.) Each leaf is composed 
of three leaflets. These vines are deciduous, 
meaning they lose their leaves in the winter. 


First, you can get the rash at any time of the 
year, even when the vines are dormant. It 
might seem that there is a “season” for the 
rash, but that’s probably because more people 
are hiking and traveling in the woods 
and valleys in the summer. But there is no 


All it takes to get the rash is to brush up 
against the plant with bare skin. Most of 
the time, hikers get the rash when they unsuspectingly 
walk through a patch of poison 
oak, or brush up against it on the side of the 


But you can also get the rash in the winter 
when there are no leaves on the vines, and 
you get the rash when you pet your dog who 
has just run a hillside of poison oak. In the 
West, firefighters are known to get serious 
infections from poison oak, whose oils are in 
the smoke of nearly all forest fires.


The urushiol oils take about 24 to 48 hours 
to begin to cause a rash, but you should still 
act quickly if you know you’ve brushed up 
against the plant.


If you’re in the field and you know you 
brushed up against poison oak, you can 
sprinkle a clay soil over the exposed area and 
rub it into your skin, and then wash with hot 
water and soap as soon as possible. 


There are also specialized soaps for poison 
oak. These can be obtained from pharmacies 
or backpacking stores, and since the results 
vary somewhat from person to person, I 
have no personal recommendation on any of 
those products. I have found that Ivory dishwashing 
liquid works fine to break down the 
oil in poison oak that’s gotten on your skin, 
and so does Shaklee’s Basic H.



Doctors will nearly always recommend a 
cortisone product if you get a rash from poison 
ivy or poison oak. They recommend it 
because it does effectively heal the rash.



I went to the world-famous Southwest Museum 
in Los Angeles, and researched how 
Native Americans of the area in the old days 
sed poison oak in many ways and were not 
known to get a rash from this plant. It 
turned out that baskets were made from the 
long vines of the poison oak, and they also 
produced a black dye from the sap of the leaf. 
So why didn’t they get the rash from the 
plant? Young poison oak leaves were added 
into their acorn meal and other foods. Apparently, 
according to my research, Native 
Americans were not necessarily any more 
immune to the rash of poison oak than anyone 
else – approximately 20% of any population 
is naturally immune, and there are 
several factors that contribute to this. But it 
is widely believed that the ingestion of the 
poison oak on a regular basis rendered the 
Native American effectively immune.


I decided to try this nearly 50 years ago, 
and I no longer get a rash when I’ve been in 
contact with poison oak. I eat a few of the 
newly-emerging leaves every spring, perhaps 
every other week for about two months. The 
flavor is somewhat nutty.


I quickly add that I DO NOT recommend 
this because individual body chemistry can 
be so different. I merely pass it along as a 
personal testimony.


Nevertheless, always err on the side of safety. 
If you know you get a rash from poison oak, 
learn to identify it and avoid it. Avoidance of 
poison oak should be your top-priority strategy 
if you go into the woods.



Besides going to a doctor, there are many traditional 
remedies for the rash of poison oak, 
which allows the body to heal itself. Here are 
a few of the methods that I have collected 
– the complete list is in my “Guide to Wild 
Foods and Useful Plants” book.


1. In my experience, the fresh juice of the 
aloe vera plant is the best natural cure for 
poison oak rash. To use, cut open a section 
of the succulent leaf, and apply the inner, wet 
side directly to the rash, which will result in 
an immediate cooling sensation and a subsequent 
rapid healing.


2. Rub mugwort leaves (Artemisia spp.) over 
the exposed parts of your body before entering 
poison oak areas to prevent the rash. The 
mushed-up fresh mugwort leaves can also be 
applied directly to the rash.


3. Drink an infusion from the leaves of manzanita 
leaves (Arctostaphylos 
spp.). This comes from 
several of the Indian tribes 
in California and even up 
into the Northwest.



You may be one of the fortunate 
ones who is somehow 
naturally immune to 
poison oak. But if you’re 
a part of the majority of 
the population, you should 
first learn to recognize 
these widespread plants, 
and then do your best to 
avoid them.

Pet of the Week

 According to the saying, “everything is bigger in Texas”, and one-year-
old lab mix Tex likes to embody that. He has a huge personality, and 
an even bigger heart! Tex has been entertaining the volunteers at Pasadena 
Humane by romping around in the play yard, chasing tennis balls 
and letting his ears flap around like bird wings. He hasn’t taken flight 
yet, but that never stops him! One of his favorite things to do is to 
splash around in the kiddie pool, then try to shake right next to you. 
It’s adorable and helps keep you cool! Tex had some playtime with another 
dog and they both had a blast. We’re confident that he would do 
well with a similar-sized buddy, but he’d also be happy being your Lone 
Star! Pasadena Humane will be having a Free Adoption Day on Saturday, 
7/15, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. sponsored by longtime donor 
Gabrielle Bruveris! Adoption fees will be waived for all available dogs, 
cats, and critters. Adoptions include spay or neuter, a microchip, and 
age-appropriate vaccines. No appointment necessary. Regular adoption 
process applies. We will not be offering meet-and-greets between pets, so please leave your family 
pets at home. New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal 
Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet. 

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption appointment at 
Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are available every Sunday and 
Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. 

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone calls or 


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