Giant hogweed - a dangerous, invasive weed - recently began spreading across New York, sparking fear and warnings from the state's Department of Environmental Conservation. They say the plant can burn, scar, and even blind you.
According to the DEC, the toxic plant grows in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. If you know anyone on these states, tag them in the comments.
#Gianthogweed sap contains toxic chemicals known as photosensitizing furanocoumarins. When these chemicals come into contact with the human skin, it can cause a skin reaction that's extremely sensitive to light.
The light-sensitive skin reaction causes dark painful blisters that form within 48 hours, and result in scars that can last anywhere from a few months to six years. Touching giant hogweed can also cause long-term sunlight sensitivity, and blindness if sap gets into a person's eye.
Obviously you want to avoid it in the first place but what if you happen to come in contact with giant hogweed?
Immediately wash the affected area with cold water. Make haste because the toxic reaction may begin within only 15 minutes and make sure you get out of the sun!
Apply a safe, non toxic sunscreen on the effected area ASAP.
In the unfortunate event that the sap comes in contact with your eyes, immediately flush with water extensively. Then be sure to wear sunglasses for protection! #uglybynature
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As young children we consider ourselves One with the earth. There is no distinction. We love all creatures - they live on earth too and therefore are part of the same great family as us. When do we begin to form distinctions and separations from earth? When our karmic debt grew and we began poisoning our bodies and minds, we were in fact poisoning our earth. As everything is essentially energy, any thought that distinguishes us from another - that fuels greed, hatred, envy, desire - is energy we pollute our aura and the aura of the planet with. Once we begin to see the connection and oneness of all life - that everything we do is connected to everything else - we begin to take responsibility for our choices. We become more conscious of our effects and consequences and learn to build our causes. For we cannot easily change the effects of something that has already taken root, but we can focus on identifying causes so that we can change what has yet to occur. We begin to focus more on our own internal sense of alignment - to purify our body, mind and spirit so that we can do our part to restore the harmony and order of the world. It all begins inside. And moves out.