Tis the season of sunburns, allergies and poison ivy. I love the great outdoors and I love hard labor. I would trade it any day for my couch and TV even with the pain I endure as I over work my muscles and expose myself to the allergen plagues. Just something about being with nature that makes it all worth it. However, I recently questioned it when I had a terrible bout of poison ivy. One week, a shot and a topical prescription, I seem to be improving. Oh, I often wonder what purpose such a plant can have so I google it.
Poison ivy and poison oak are major food sources. They are food sources for more than 60 species of bird on the east coast alone as well as deer. Cotton tails also enjoy munching on the juicy stems that are poisonous to other animals and people. Some moths use it to conceal their larvae. Not to mention it is actually a beautiful plant that is very hardy helping to prevent erosion.
Since I think like everything was created for mankind I still question the existence of this “thorn in my side”. I mean, other plants serve the same purpose, right? Why do we need this particular plant. Well, it isn’t always about the mighty me. And beside if I had spent time learning as much about its counterpart, the Jewelweed, all could have been avoided. God has provided a compliment to the poison ivy/oak/sumac.
I failed to remember a popular survival show I watched and failed to think about the “leaflets of three leave it be”. Nature has provided the cure, jewelweed. It grows usually in the same location as poison ivy/oak. It is also nature’s antidote for other of life’s itchy’s. It is a little harder to identify without its orange trumpet shaped spotted blooms. But it is well worth learning how to identify it as it’s juice will counteract the effects of poison ivy. It will also cure or lessen reactions to mosquito bites, bee stings, athletes foot, ringworm, nettle stings and a variety of other skin irritations.
Genesis 9:3 “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” Look around you and choose to learn what God provides. Not just about the bad because “everything” is a lot good stuff.