I have a love/hate relationship with mangoes. For me, they are equally delicious and toxic.
I didn’t know this until last year 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, or itching. No doctor’s visit. Whew. Just so you know.
This public service announcement was brought to you by my insurance company and the letter M.