What You Need to Know About MANGOES

I have a love/hate relationship with mangoes.  For me, they are equally delicious and toxic.

I didn't know this until a few years ago when a friend of ours gave us some huge, juicy mangoes from her tree. 

After eating them nonstop for a few days, I woke up with a few itchy dots on my wrist.  Two days later, it looked like this.  

I also developed a swollen bump on my right cheek, which I won't show you, because I try to limit icky pictures to one a post.  

The rash continued to worsen, so I decided to see a doctor before my arm fell off.

After the doc poked around a bit, he asked me if I'd been trekking around in the woods, or gardening.

No way, I said.  As a rule, I don't enjoy the woods, gardening, or trekking.  I avoid them if possible.  

He asked if I'd ingested anything new the past week.  I mentioned my gluttony with the mangoes.

He then said, "Do you know mangoes and poison ivy are in the same family?"

I blinked at him.  WHAT?! 

Apparently, the allergen urshiol is in both plants.  In the mango, the urshiol is contained in the skin and just under the skin.  Urshiol is not found in the fruit itself.   So it's safe to eat the fruit, just not peel it.

The doc prescribed for me prednisone, and after one day, I saw improvement.  But, I was so bummed that my favorite fruit might give me trouble from then on.

After my wrist healed, I tested it.  I couldn't let my mango relationship go without a trial reconciliation.   I sliced up another mango and made a mess.  Then, like a surgeon, I scrubbed my arms up to my elbows. 

No rash.  No itching.  No doctor's visit.  Whew.  Just so you know, wash up well after peeling mangoes. Or have someone else peel them. That's what I do now.

This public service announcement was brought to you by my insurance company and the letter M.


Sherry said...

You 'Risky Behavior' is shocking!!

Michael Ann said...

Wow, did not know that either about Manoges! Good thing I don't like them! :-)

Jen Forbes said...

I never knew that! How interesting..not allergic to either. Love mango's.

Kathy Wiechman said...

Thanks for the warning. I'll be careful with mangoes.
Kathy @ Swagger Writers

Rosalind Adam said...

So was it the mango or not? I love mangoes though they are messy to prepare.

Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

C.M.Brown said...

I also love mangoes, but never knew they could have this side affect!

Cathrina Constantine said...

That's news to me and probably everyone who's read your post. Good one.

Cheryl Rennels said...

Thanks for the information on mangos and poison ivy. My grandson is very allergic so your post is a heads up. Having fun with A-Z, thanks for visiting.

Suzanne said...

Hi, found you via the A-Z :) Mango's are one of my favourite fruits, I would be gutted to be allergic to them - glad you were lucky second time around!
Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe

Ornery's Wife said...

Learned something new! I have never noticed a reaction but I have odd skin break outs from time to time anyway. Thanks for visiting Zoe Cottage today!

Cindy Dwyer said...

I never knew that! Can't say I ever ate a mango though. But since I have caught poison ivy - from washing Rick's clothes after he's cut wood - I'm not sure Mangoes are the fruit for me!

Thanks for the PSA.

Masked Mom said...

I had no idea mangoes and poison ivy are in the same family. I have a very acute allergy to poison ivy, which I discovered at the age of 11 by inflicting poison ivy upon myself (long story). It's probably paranoia but now that I know mangoes are related, that picture's making me a bit itchy.

Nice to "meet" you, by the way! Thanks for stopping by my place. ;)

Michelle said...

I was walking through the woods with my cousin last fall. I noticed the vines on the ground (everywhere) after about a hour and then it hit me. I was walking through poison ivy. I told him "you know what this is???" He goes "Yeah, I'm not allergic, you?"
Apparently I was good because I never broke out.

During Christmas however, I was decorating with fake garland...and my arms broke out in the worse rash EVER.

Funny...wasn't really that funny when I broke out...but it's funny to me now ;) You just never know!