5 PLANTS THAT SHOULD NEVER TOUCH YOUR SKIN

5 PLANTS THAT SHOULD NEVER TOUCH YOUR SKIN

Plants are incredibly smart; a lot smarter than we give them credit for.

 As humans, we are created with a genetic predisposition to protect ourselves. When we sense danger, our bodies release epinephrine in order to initiate a fight-or-flight response. Though plants don’t have epinephrine (of course), they do have built-in chemical weapons that keep them safe, and keep predators away – both animals and humans. 

So what does that have to do with you? Well…these chemicals can be extremely deadly, especially if you’re exposed to them on your morning walks in nature.They can lead to blistering skin and rashes, burning, stinging, and other ‘discomforts’ that could ultimately lead to a trip to the hospital. So it’s extremely important not to  expose your skin to plants.

 

 

KNOW YOUR PLANTS

To protect your skin and minimize your exposure, it’s very important to know which plants are harmful, and which plants are safe. Some plants deemed safe can also cause nasty side-effects if you are over-exposed. 

So, here are 5 commonly encountered plans in North America that you should look out for. You can also download this blog and keep it on your phone in case you need to reference it when you’re out and about!

 

 

 
WATER HEMLOCK

 

The Water Hemlock is a toxic wetland plant that is commonly found in wet meadows along the banks of streams. It’s arguably one of the most poisonous plants in North America, and can lead to seizures and death.

The toxic substance in water hemlock is cicutoxin, a highly poisonous unsaturated alcohol that has a strong carrot-like odor. It is found principally in the tubers but is also present in the leaves and stems during early growth.

 
 
 
GIANT HOGWEED

Giant Hogweeds were not indigineous  in Canada, however it has recently been spotted across several provinces such as Ontario, B.C., and Quebec. It’s also very common in the U.S.

These plants can grow up to 2 meters in height, and look like a gigantic version of the Queen Anne’s lace (which is lovely, but…Giant Hogweeds scare me!!)

Though this plant isn’t deadly, the sap can cause burning and blistering. And, if it makes contact with the eyes it can cause temporary or permanent blindness, so stay clear! 

 

 
 
 
POISON IVY, POISON OAK, POISON SUMAK

The deadly trio is what I like to call these 3 sister plants, and the easiest way to identify them is through their distinctive leaf shapes as well as black spots typically found on their leaves. All three of these plants emit an oil called urushiol. This oil is the toxin that makes you itch. The oil is present on the leaves, stems, and roots of these plants whether they are live or dried up.  It’s important to note that you should NEVER burn these plants, especially if you find them growing in your backyard. If they’re burned, the oil vaporizes and is carried in the smoke. Breathing the fumes can threaten the lives of some individuals.

Poison Ivy

 

Poison Oak

Poison Sumac

 

 

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH THESE PLANTS

According to the United States Department of Agriculture and Forest Service this is what you should do if your skin comes in contact with one of these plants. 

In cases of water hemlock poisoning, contact a poison control center and obtain emergency medical assistance as quickly as possible…

In the case of the other 4 plants, you should wash the area with cold water as soon as possible. If symptoms appear (inflammation and a rash), apply topical ointments, such as calamine lotion or zinc oxide, for relief from itching.

So, if you are out and enjoying nature ensure that you respect nature and try to learn as much as you can about what is around you…and when in doubt…don’t touch it!

 

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An Unsuspecting Reason Why Your Hair Is Thinning

An Unsuspecting Reason Why Your Hair Is Thinning

Eating less red meat is an undeniable trend of 2019. Reasons vary from cutting out inflammatory toxins in your diet, to wanting to lower your carbon dioxide footprint, to deciding against unethical farming practices.

 

However, cutting out red meat from your diet also means you are likely eliminating your main dietary source of iron. 

 

Having sufficient iron in your system is critical to hair, bone and nail health (to name a few things). When your body lacks iron, it cannot make hemoglobin (the protein in your red blood cells), and cannot transport oxygen around the body for growth and repair. 

 

So if you switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet, you may experience thinning hair as a result.

 

Luckily, there are many iron-rich plant-based solutions! Incorporate more beans (like lentils, soybeans, kidney beans) and leafy greens (such as spinach, swiss chard, kale) in your diet to increase your iron intake from non-meat and non-dairy sources.

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Banana Hot Drink: a natural sleep aid you haven’t heard of yet

Banana Hot Drink: a natural sleep aid you haven’t heard of yet

You’ve tried all the tricks in the trade to fall asleep and stay asleep. Investments in pillow sprays, trying out new meditation rituals, breathing exercises and more. Many of these may take some trial and error and extra effort. But we have one easy and natural sleep remedy that you may not have heard of yet.

 

Introducing, the banana hot drink

 

Here’s how to make it:

 

  1. Wash the entire banana (including the peel)
  2. Cut into 1 inch-thick chunks. 
  3. In a large cup or bowl, add boiling hot water to the banana chunks.
  4. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes, and enjoy.

 

Why it works:

 

We all know that bananas are a rich source of magnesium, a reliable and popular sleep aid. Magnesium regulates neurotransmitters and cues your body and mind to relax. Banana peel actually has 3 times more magnesium than the banana itself. So letting it seep in water will allow the peel to release all of its sleep-inducing goodness. 

 

Try it out!

 

Check out our other sleep tips:

THE ONE BREATHING TECHNIQUE THAT PUTS YOU TO SLEEP

4 PROVEN SLEEP TIPS FROM AN INSOMNIAC

HOW TO POWER NAP LIKE A PRO

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