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In the Garden

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Contact Dermatitis Causes In The Garden

7/1/2010 12:15:21 PM

Tags: Lemon Verbena Lady, Nancy Heraud, Angelica, Contact Dermatitis, Mayo Clinic, Psoriasis

n.heraud2You can check out the Lady Lemon Verbena at her blog

The other day, I cut back my angelica seeds so that we wouldn't end up with thousands of plants. As it is, we ended up with hundreds.

I talked about how angelica is a big, beautiful herb and although I still believe that, I now have some reservations. You see, I have psoriasis on my hands. In the summer, my hands are pretty good; in the winter, I have lots of issues. So I don't always think of my skin problems when it is summertime and I'm in the garden.

Angelica seeds in the early spring season.
Photo by Nancy Heraud.

Have you ever gone to a garden center and found a plant that is begging to be bought and planted in your garden? For me, that is usually the one that turns out to be very invasive, and I don't read about it until it is too late! I read about angelica's problems after my first post, and soon after I cut the seeds from the angelica. I usually wear gloves for everything I do in the garden, but I didn't for this. Big mistake!

Angelica's seeds right before cutting.
Photo by Nancy Heraud.

In Jekka McVicar's New Book of Herbs, she cautions that all angelica species may cause skin photosensitivity or dermatitis when touched. She also says to avoid taking angelica medicinally if you are diabetic. I went to the Mayo Clinic website and clicked on Contact Dermatitis and found a photo that looks like my arm after gardening without gloves.

Lemon Verbena Lady's Contact Dermatitis!
Photo courtesy of Mayo Clinic.

Now I'm using hydrocortisone 1 percent cream and am hoping my dermatitis will get better soon. At minimum, I will wear long sleeves and pants when tackling the angelica, or call on The Herbal Husband to help. Hope you have an herbal assistant in your life to help with those sensitive herbal chores. 

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