Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Cow Parsnip.......loath'it, loath'it, loath'it..?????

  1. #1

    Default Cow Parsnip.......loath'it, loath'it, loath'it..?????

    So have you had a awful experience with Cow Parsnip.....??? Question: Do people ever end up in the emergency room from cow parsnip encounters......???? I read that it can be fatal for children......

  2. #2
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    I've never seen it fatal, but it certainly can cause blistering and other ailments in some people. I imagine that it could be fatal if swallowed.

    I had a funny incident a few years ago responding to a roll over of a truck belonging to a cleaning company. They specialized in cleaning range hoods and kitchens with a Hotsy, so they had several 5 gallon jugs of degreaser and cleaner on board. Our rescue squad arrived just as the troopers were calling a hazmat crew. The occupants of the van were fine and they told us nothing was leaking. In fact, they had all the jugs out in the ditch by the time we got there. However, almost every bystander there had red burns on their arms and legs (hot day, lots of shorts and t-shirts). Surrounding the van was cow parsnip, smashed flat by the good samaritans
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  3. #3

    Default

    Some folks are bothered by it and some aren't. I've never reacted.

    It's juices are activated by sunlight. If it's not sunny, no worries.

    And yeah it's pretty common, even advisable, to get medical care when you get it bad. Docs can help even with mild cases.

    Fastest recovery appears to be with steroids. Some docs like them and some don't. Shop around for another doc if you have one that won't use steroids, but you're tired of a slow recovery.

  4. #4
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    So have you had a awful experience with Cow Parsnip.....??? Question: Do people ever end up in the emergency room from cow parsnip encounters......???? I read that it can be fatal for children......
    By encounters, do you mean eating it, or just getting tangled up in it as with Devil's Club or Stinging Nettles?

    To my knowledge Cow Parsnip is edible when prepared correctly BUT it is in the same family as Water Hemlock, which is quite common in SC AK and potentially fatally toxic. Eating the leaves will make you dreadfully sick, the stalk more so, and the root will kill you. Hemlock is nearly identical to the edible Wild Celery and sometimes mistaken for it.

    If you're talking about an ingestion issue it's possible someone may have confused some hemlock for parsnip. The two plants don't really resemble each other but they are often found together.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  5. #5
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    N'ern S.E. AK
    Posts
    838

    Default

    When my son was little, he got some REAL BAD skin blisters from (presumably) contact with some Indian Rhubarb (aka Cow Parsnip). These blisters were the worst I've ever seen on a human. 1-1.5" diameter x 0.5" high. Freaked us out a parents. Sorry - no pictures.

    I know he grew out of it as I'm sure he's touched this plant many time since, but has never got the blisters again.

  6. #6

    Default

    I have never had a reaction, however I am extremely careful when wading through it. I have a friend who get horrible blisters from cow parsnip.

  7. #7
    Charterboat Operator
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Anchorage AK.
    Posts
    1,057

    Default

    most cases i have seen is from weed whacking them! My son has recently tackled it, got a cople nasty burns on his arm and oddly enough, a few blisters on his lip. starting to go away, but man is that stuff NASTY. had no tthought about the sun issue. Fortunatly I have never had an issue with it.

  8. #8
    New member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,022

    Default

    I have never had a reaction to it. Walked through it wearing and tank top without issue. My wife on the other hand has scarring from it.

    I treat it with some caution though as it can cause blindness. if you touch it do not put your fingers in your eyes.

  9. #9
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    been around the stuff all my life wondering the woods and never thought anything of it... weird guess I am either just lucky or don't have a reaction. I had a BUNCH in the side yard but all that just got bulldozed to make room for a new shop. Good to know though with the wife and kids all spending more time in the woods w/ me!!

  10. #10

    Default

    We dry the young stalks and use them in the winter for celery substitutes in stew.
    Chuck

  11. #11

    Default

    I react very bad to it with the blister lasting about a week, and then the itching with heat and sweat, but recently I have found that using hand sanitzer over an area that has come in contact with cow parsnip, I don't react to it at all. So now when I am in the woods I carry a small thing of hand sanitzer and use it soon after coming in contact. This is the first summer of using it and I haven't had a reaction at all to it.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lostinthewoods View Post
    I react very bad to it with the blister lasting about a week, and then the itching with heat and sweat, but recently I have found that using hand sanitzer over an area that has come in contact with cow parsnip, I don't react to it at all. So now when I am in the woods I carry a small thing of hand sanitzer and use it soon after coming in contact. This is the first summer of using it and I haven't had a reaction at all to it.
    I might have to try that. What is the specific type of hand sanitizer you use (just in case it happens to be something specific to that type). I have bad reactions to it now, but never reacted at all before about 5 years ago. I went out and weed wacked a section of a mountain bike race course earlier this summer and got it bad. It impacted pretty much all exposed skin which included my hands, face, and back of my neck. I could actually see lines down my face where sweat carried the juice while I was working. It was stupid of me to not wear full protection from it knowing I was sensitive to it, but I won't forget again I guess. The best thing I could do to keep my hands from itching was to stick them in a small cooler of ice water ever 15 or 20 minutes. Not fun at all.

  13. #13
    Member tboehm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    2,406

    Default

    interesting where some have such a bad reaction and other eat the stuff. Interesting article on the stuff here, just scroll down a little.
    http://3feetahead.com/backpacking/do...nts/index.html
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  14. #14
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,788

    Default

    I've never been bothered by pushki, in fact we used to eat the young plants out in the BB area (called it wild celery). But about three weeks ago my 9 year old and his two nephews were cutting them with a machete in Homer, and got seriously burned. I mean, it took two weeks for them to get better, and the scars are still there. Apparently the stuff is reactive to light, and furthermore, if burned, can cause blistering in your trachea and lungs. Mean stuff, but I prefer it to devils club!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •