Welcome, Guest. Please Login.
Latex Allergy Support Forum
24.08.19 at 15:23:27
News: Signup for free on our forum and benefit from new features!
Home Help Search Login


Poll
Question: How does Poinsettias affect you

It has no effect on me.
It has a mild effect on me.
It has a marked effect on me.
It has cause anaphylaxis.


« Created by: LASG Forum Administrator on: 01.12.06 at 10:17:47 »

Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Poinsettias (Read 14916 times)
LASG Forum Administrator
LASG Forum Administrator
*****




Posts: 315
Gender: male
Poinsettias
01.12.06 at 10:14:23
 
We've had a lot of emails of late regarding this plant.   It is described in my dictionary as "Tropical American plant having poisonous milk and showy tapering usually scarlet petal-like leaves surrounding small yellow flowers"
 
I've put up the poll as I feel it would be of interest to see just how many of us are affected.
Back to top
 
 

The Administrator.
WWW   IP Logged
Bob
Global Moderator
*****


.

Posts: 914
Gender: male
Re: Poinsettias
Reply #1 - 04.12.06 at 17:19:21
 
This was sent by Pip and I feel it deserves mention in here:
 
"Allergens, Irritants and Intolerances
 
In this age of high tec gadgets and new technology there is often a temptation to think of the old days as being better than the present.  Naturally occurring products without chemical additives are considered cleaner and safer than mass produced items which have a strangely long shelf life.  It may be helpful, however, to put more thought into trying to understand how and why our bodies react to differing stimuli in order to assess whether a substance will cause a problem.  When we understand the reasons behind our difficulties we become stronger and more able to cope.
 
I’ve always been interested in plants and horticulture.  When my career as a radiographer was cut short through latex allergy, I decided to do a bit of volunteer gardening whilst I sorted out what I was going to with the rest of my working life.  It seemed like something I could do without compromising my health further as I looked for a new direction.
 
Let’s start with a look at plant names.  To many people this is the one thing that puts them off gardening.  Why bother with the scientific name?  Can’t we just call a spade a spade?  It’s like gardening in a foreign language!  Well we do need to use the proper names for plants if we are to be understood when ordering from a nursery or designing a planting plan.  One client was describing her favourite plant to me after a particularly long day. ‘You know the one, it’s got green leaves!’  Well, that really narrowed it down.  For garden designers it’s important to be able to tell your artemesia from your elbow.
 
All living things have a scientific name which usually consists of two words.  The first word is the family name, the equivalent of our surname, and the second is the specific name, this being the equivalent of our Christian or given name.  All plants from the same family use the same first word and then each individual type is defined by its own second name.  The second name is often descriptive of some feature or where it was discovered.  To make things even more difficult plants often have more than one common name, however the scientific name is particular to one plant only.  This two word system of naming was invented by Linnaeus in the mid eighteenth century, it also transcends language barriers and is used world wide
 
Recent emails have high lighted a problem that some LASG members have with Poinsettias as Christmas approaches.  Checking out the scientific name allows us to understand why.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latex
The free online encyclopaedia is a great way to do this.  The above address brings us to the pages describing latex production.  Put Poinsettias into the search and the full details of the plant are available.  Euphorbia pulcherrima is the full name and all the euphorbia family are well known for their irritant, milky sap or latex.
 

 
 
 Euphorbia characias
 
 
In this sense, latex is the word used to describe the milky sap excreted by any plant.  Advice is to wear gloves if handling to avoid contact.  In a child friendly or low allergen planting I’d recommend omitting all of this plant family, the common name is the spurges.  Gardening in good quality leather gloves is recommended in any case.
 
So back to our main problem of latex allergy.  We’ve often debated whether to change the name of the LASG, but always return to the original as it ‘does what it says on the tin.’  Should we really be the Natural Rubber Latex Allergy Support Group?  Many members cross react to differing allergens and it is not possible to give specific general guidance because of this.
 
Wikipedia says
‘The major commercial source of natural latex used to create rubber is the Para rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis (Euphorbiaceae). This is largely because it responds to wounding by producing more latex. Henry Wickham gathered thousands of seeds from Brazil in 1876 and they were germinated in Kew Gardens, England. The seedlings were sent to Colombo, Indonesia, Singapore and British Malaya. Malaya was later to become the biggest producer of rubber.
Other plants containing latex include figs (Ficus elastica), euphorbias, and the common dandelion. Although these have not been major sources of rubber, Germany attempted to use such sources during World War II when it was cut off from rubber supplies. These attempts were later supplanted by the development of synthetic rubber.’
 
Natural rubber latex is produced by Hevea brasiliensis.  Looking at the name for a minute, we discussed earlier that the second word (specific name) can indicate where a plant was discovered.  Common ones are ‘japonica’ for Japan, ‘sinesis’ for China, ‘canadensis’ for Canada.  No prizes for guessing where rubber originates.
 
This also highlights other plants that produce sap which some may find no problem at all, some may find irritating and the odd one or two may be allergic to in a big way.  The ornamental figs are usually found as indoor plants in this country.  Ficus elastica, the Rubber Plant is not the tree used in production of rubber, but the shiny leaved house plant.  Ficus benjamina,the Weeping Fig is a common, easy to care for house plant.  It does produce sap when pruned that will literally drip off the plant for a short while.
 
 

 
  Ficus benjamina Weeping fig
 
So, what conclusions should we draw from all this?  I have a Type I allergy to NRL and the above picture is taken in my house.  I’ve had this plant for approximately 15 years (they do thrive on neglect) and pruned it with no reaction on my part all.  If I considered it was causing me a problem, however small, I’d have chucked it out without any qualms.  I’ve also handled euphorbias and don’t react.
 
 
I do react to avocados, Persea americana, (again guess the origin?) and sweet chestnuts, Castanea sativa which strangely are no relation to the Horse Chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum.  So conkers shouldn’t cause me a problem unless I get hit hard on the knuckle with one.  I know other members react to kiwi fruit, bananas, potatoes and tomatoes, but I don’t.
 
Our initial assumption that natural products are best has been blown out of the water, and man made synthetic rubbers will not cause the problems that NRL does.
 
From personal experience, I know that once the body has experienced an anaphylactiod reaction, it remains in a heightened state of sensitivity for many months.  Repeated exposure to allergens is to be avoided at all cost.
 
It is important to understand your individual allergy and make any lifestyle changes that are necessary to as far as possible avoid provoking attacks.
 
This may well be easier said than done.
Back to top
 
 

A 'Veteran' - active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve - is one who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to his country for an amount of 'up to, and including his life.'
  IP Logged
alison
Ex Member



Re: Poinsettias
Reply #2 - 08.12.06 at 17:07:10
 
Sad  I had latex allergy for 4 years and it seems to be evolving.  I just seem to get on the level with it ie: coming to terms with it and the allergy changes.  First year just a latex problem, a year later food allergy problems.  This year I have a problem with poinsettias - never caused a problem before.  Now I am having to avoid shops which sell them -  the reaction is not anaphylactic but effects my tongue straight away (use antihistimine and spray) and seems to get worse (3 reactions so far) so I am not risking anymore.  This is a real problem with Christmas shopping - I now HATE these plants.  Next year, I shall have to do my Christmas shopping extra early to avoid them.
 
Alison.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Karen and Sophie
Top Member
*****




Posts: 692
Gender: female
Re: Poinsettias
Reply #3 - 05.01.07 at 15:57:14
 
My first question on this forum is about the Poinsettia plants.
 
We went away to a hotel after xmas and were checking in and I suddenly noticed there was a large poinsettia plant on the desk right by where Sophie was standing.  She stepped away and I thought no more about it until we got to our room when she started to complain that her face was getting very itchy and she felt a bit wheezy. I gave her some Piriton and and she used her inhaler and after a while she was ok.  Do you think this could have been a reaction to the plant?  Can you react by just being close to one without actual contact?
 
It would be good to know but  I guess it could have just been a coincidence as she is very prone to itchy skin!!
 
Not voted on the poll as we are not sure!!!
 
Karen
Back to top
 
 

Sophie - Type 1 latex allergy
Also allergies to all tree nuts, peanuts & eggs
Carries Epipen
Also severely affected by ME
  IP Logged
Bob
Global Moderator
*****


.

Posts: 914
Gender: male
Re: Poinsettias
Reply #4 - 05.01.07 at 16:55:23
 
Sounds as if it could have been the plant causing the trouble.   Paula can't go into a room with one.
Back to top
 
 

A 'Veteran' - active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve - is one who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to his country for an amount of 'up to, and including his life.'
  IP Logged
alison
Ex Member



Re: Poinsettias
Reply #5 - 06.01.07 at 11:37:43
 
As per my previous comments on poinsettias, it could well be the plant causing a problem.  I am a classroom assistant and had a reaction at school when on the last day of term another member of staff got given a poinsettia from one of her children in her class.  This class is two classes down from mine and I had a reaction when I walked into her class even though the plant was at the other end of the classroom to me.
 
I had to use antihistamine and my inhaler and I thought I was going to be really bad.  Had to go and sit in the school office with a first aider watching me.  Fortunately, I soon recovered and the first aider went an removed the plant and checked all the other classes.  Luckily we are a very small infants school, so this was not too difficult.
 
I absolutely hate these plants, I've never had a problem with them until this Christmas.  However, I suppose you wont know whether the plant caused the problem until it happens again.
 
I had to get my family to do all my food Christmas shopping for me - couldn't use internet shopping as I didn't know I had a problem until late into the Christmas period.
So, no M&S, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Somerfield, Co-op - you name them they sell it !!!!
 
Take care.  Alison.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Heather
Newbies
*


I Love YaBB 2!

Posts: 6
Re: Poinsettias
Reply #6 - 10.01.07 at 17:57:52
 
A message for Alison.
I was reading the message from you regarding reactions to poinsettas and notice that you say that you experience a reaction which affect your tongue when in shops with these plants.  Both my daughter and my niece suffer reactions affecting the tongue (as well as other allergic symptoms and and asthma), both with certain foods and on exposure to latex (in shops etc).  This ranges from stinging and itching to blistering of the tongue (and mouth). Is this the type of reaction that you have?  Also, I was wondering what the spray is that you use?
thanks
Heather
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
alison
Ex Member



Re: Poinsettias
Reply #7 - 11.01.07 at 16:39:48
 
Hello Heather,
 
The symptoms affecting my tongue are tingling, sense of slight swelling, dryness of the mouth.  The inhaler I have is called Primatene Mist - I get it on pescription but it comes from America.  
 
My doctor pescribed it to me (she has two sons with severe peanut allergy), I use it when I have - what I call "oh, I don't feel very well" reactions.  Some of my reactions are worse than others (not yet anaphylactic - thank god) and I use the spray after my anti-histamines when I know its a more serious reaction and I get to know that I really dont feel very well ie: more worried about it than usual reactions..  Sorry this is a bit hard to explain !!!!
 
The spray works well, especially when I had a (what my doctor called a pre-anaphylactic reaction) when eating a banana ie: sense of doom, feeling faint, unable to speak, dry mouth, urge to use the toilet, thirst etc.  Used the inhaler 3 x 2 sprays - worked well.  Soon recovered.
 
Hope this info is of some use - if you need anything else please contact me again.
Thank  goodness poinsettias have now disappeared !!!!
 
Alison.   Smiley
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Teddy
Global Moderator
*****




Posts: 2109
Gender: female
Re: Poinsettias
Reply #8 - 15.01.07 at 19:44:51
 
Hi there
 
Do Poinsettias only have red flowers or is there a Poinsettias that has a white flower with a red stem insert? The flower of the plant I mention looks like wax. Didnt want to get any closer as I had a very severe reaction to it and became quite ill just in the vacinity of the plant. I thought a poinsettias had red flower to it. Perhaps someone could tell me what this was if not a poinsettias. I know the description is a bit vague but perhaps an expert recognises my not so good description.
 
Teddy (Lesley) cry
Back to top
 
 

Teddy
  IP Logged
Bob
Global Moderator
*****


.

Posts: 914
Gender: male
Re: Poinsettias
Reply #9 - 16.01.07 at 09:47:46
 
Colors can range from creamy white to shades of pink and orange to the traditional red. Also available are marbled bracts of pink and white as well as pink flecks on red.
Back to top
 
 

A 'Veteran' - active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve - is one who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to his country for an amount of 'up to, and including his life.'
  IP Logged
Teddy
Global Moderator
*****




Posts: 2109
Gender: female
Re: Poinsettias
Reply #10 - 18.01.07 at 16:40:31
 
Hi Bob
 
I think it probably was a poinsettias then. Thanks for that. Teddy
Back to top
 
 

Teddy
  IP Logged
Nic
Newbies
*


!

Posts: 10
Re: Poinsettias
Reply #11 - 03.05.09 at 20:30:47
 
My latex sensitivity has become progressively worse, but I haven't tested myself on poinsettias.  
 
I don't have anaphylaxis (yet), but minimal contact with latex sets me back, and I remain in a vicious cycle of healing and reacting every day.       Shocked cry
 
I don't want to live on steroids.  
 
I hope that more lawsuits against hospitals and latex manufacturers will wake them up to the real dangers of latex.
Back to top
 
 
Email   IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print