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Itchy Talks by Amy Martin: Making Poison Oak and Ivy Fun

Itchy Talks by Amy Martin: Making Poison Oak and Ivy Fun

What results when you combine the topic of poison oak and ivy with a journalist who has 20 years experience in public speaking? Great talks that are super informative while being very upbeat and funny. All drawn from the book Itchy Business: How to Treat the Poison Ivy and Poison Oak Rash, Prevent Exposure and Eradicate the Plant. Complete details at Itchy.Biz. Or buy it now at Amazon.

An estimated 50 million people endure the poison oak and ivy rash each year. It’s a topic of great interest! A talk by Amy Martin helps listeners reduce rash suffering. The Q&A that follows is often emotionally cathartic as rash victims share stories ranging from funny to horrifying.  Itchy Business talks are 20 minutes long followed by a 5 to 10 minute Q&A. Shorter and longer talks are available, as well as in-depth classes.

Topics include:


It’s not a poison to be neutralized, but an urushiol allergy to be managed. Outsmarting the rash: Essential attitude shifts to being a poison oak and ivy ninja. Mob mentality: How allergic overreaction creates the rash. The 3 Cs: Use of Calming to treat underlying inflammation. Cooling to tame fiery rash reactions. Reducing blister weeping through Constricting. How conventional treatments harm the skin and extend misery.


Going beyond “leaves of three, let them be” to recognize the plant in all seasons and regions. Anticipating where it will grow. Barrier lotions that actually work. Smart attire and personal habits to prevent the contact and spread of urushiol. How to get urushiol off your skin and everything else. Weird and tragic ways we spread urushiol around.


The Toxicodendron genus and its special hatred for humans. How an ancient import from China found its happy place in the U.S. The four poison oak and ivy species and where they grow. European fascination with poison ivy. Toxicodendron cousins: tropical trees that fume urushiol and Japanese lacquer trees whose resin is refined into toxic black lacquer. The itchy Cashew family: why mangos, cashews, and pistachios bother the super sensitive.


The cost of conventional scratching: Infection. The science of itch and how urushiol itch is different from others. Scratching techniques that help the rash and don’t hurt the skin. Using gentle acids and alkalines, heat and cold, to safely scratch. How people do the hot water release all wrong. The perfect anti-itch bath and other ways oatmeal is your friend. How not to be your itch’s bitch: Mentally mastering the urge.


Never enter itch territory without this essential protection product. Two post-contact cleaners you must have. The essential all-natural, herbal rash-relief product that’s available in almost every drugstore. A traditional laxative that happens to soothe the rash. A saline rinse that cleans rash sores while numbing the itch. The delicate yellow flower that tames epic rashes, even poison oak and ivy.


Self-mummification through urushiol and desensitizing attempts gone horribly wrong. Biological weapons potential of urushiol. The perils of poison oak art shows and lacquer made of urushiol. Native Americans, masters of poison oak and ivy… not. The song “Poison Ivy” as a metaphor for STDs and why the comic character Poison Ivy is mis-named. Weirdest ways to be exposed to urushiol.


To arrange one or more Itchy Business talks or classes, contact Amy Martin. Further information on the book at Itchy.Biz and at Amazon.

Amy Martin

Amy Martin is the North Texas Wild at GreenSourceDFW and author of Itchy Business: How to Treat the Poison Ivy and Poison Oak Rash. More info at Most frequently she was the senior comedy critic for TheaterJones, The Aging Hippie columnist for Senior Voice, and the Taoist panel member of the Texas Faith blog of The Dallas Morning News. A journalist for over 40 years, she wrote for Dallas Observer, Dallas Times Herald, Dallas Morning News, and D magazine, and was contributing editor and columnist for Garbage magazine. She was known by many in North Texas as the Moonlady for her alternative newservice of 15 years, Moonlady News, and served as creator/producer/promoter of the acclaimed Winter and Summer SolstiCelebrations for 20 years. 

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