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Mangoes & Rash Behavior

Both Dr. John and OC frowned on the idea of me going outside and tossing rocks at the mangoes with the children. I explained to OC that our lease forbids climbing trees, but it doesn’t say anything about tossing rocks. OC said, “That’s probably because throwing rocks is already against the law!” Now I need to check a copy of the Hawaii penal code before I decide whether or not to join the rock throwing children. (Such decisions were much easier when I was a kid.)

Well, the good news is, enough Mangoes already littered the ground that there were plenty for me to gather up, bring into the house and feast upon. Mangoes are very pulpy — at least the kind that grow in our yard are — and they are very juicy. I eat mango while standing over the sink. What’s a little stickiness when one is munching on sweet, yummy mango?

Those of you who have been around awhile might recognize a quote from OC written on my blog about a year ago, as we were preparing to move to Hawaii.

No, I haven’t eaten one. I ain’t even touchin‘ ’em. The mango tree belongs to the poison ivy family, for crying out loud. Yes it does. For me to eat a mango, would really be a rash act.

I quite happily told OC that, members of the Poison Ivy League or not, mangoes didn’t bother me. That turned out to be a rash proclamation. It seems that an occasional mango is fine, but indulging in them everyday is not.

I’d gathered an armful of mangoes and brought them into the house, where I proceeded to eat them, one or two at a time every day for three days. The evening of the third day I said to OC, my face really hurts and it’s all sore and chapped feeling. OC looked at me and said, “You have a rash around your mouth.”

I immediately looked down at my plate in concern. (We were eating out when the conversation occurred.) I said, “There’s nothing on my plate I haven’t eaten before.” He said, “I noticed the rash when you picked me up from the boat.”

I said, “You know, my arms really itch, too.” I showed him the angry red stripes (for want of a better word) on my forearms. OC looked at them, turning my arms this way and that and then queried. “Have you been eating mangoes?”

“Well, yes,” I said. “But –“

“Those look like juice streaks,” he said, pointing at my arms. “You might want to lay off on the mangoes for awhile.”

Yeah. A looooong while.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. I think the idea of you going out there and chucking rocks is awesome, hearkening back to childhood, memorable, and funny all in one. Don’t let a little thing like the law stop you! As long as you’re aiming carefully (put the Ming Vase behind you first), you should be fine!

    But, then again, it sounds like it’s going to be a while before you do this again. *sigh*

  2. what’s that saying… what doesn’t kill you, strengthens you or somesuch?
    poison ivy, eh? you make itchy things seem funny

  3. Jeremiah — if I chuck the rocks north, there are six glass windows to worry about. If I chuck the rocks west or south, there is a parking lot full of windshields awaiting disaster. But, if I chuck the rocks east, I have only the basketball court to worry about — unless of course a rock should hit a tree branch and bounce north, west or south — or come straight back down on my soft little head.

    Brian — I did listen. I just didn’t obey. There’s a difference, you know.

    SN — more and more I read your comments and wonder if you really read my blog.

    Juliana — well, now that I no longer itch, it is funny!

  4. I came by this morning, but my computer locked up and then my server went down. I didn’t have a clue what the thing below was, so no worries there. 🙂

    I think chunking rocks at a mango tree would be soooo cool! I, too love mangoes….and would be heartbroken to become allergic to them. I call the giant seed “the mango bone” and gnaw it like one would a bone, if one wished to gnaw a bone as an animal might.

    Is it that you have become allergic to the mango or are you allergic to poison ivy and it is a transferrance? I’ve never had so many mangos to be able to just eat two or three a day for several day. I had no idea mangoes and poison ivy were kin. That was probably in that relationship chart I was looking at the other night. *L*

  5. oh yeah…forgot to tell you…well, couldn’t tell anyone online until now that I got in the jalapeno juice again and my hands feel like they are burning off. Got hubby to put the gloves in the drawer where I usually prep food and have major plans to have aloe vera with dbl lidocaine every few steps around the house. I think I’ve become allergic to it….and that is not cool when you are a Texan and make all sorts of dishes with peppers. *sigh*

    Also, being the lady that I am, I would never gnaw a bone like a dog, unless I knew nobody could see. 🙂

  6. This I found to be very interesting indeed. I love mangoes, but I found that I also was having a problem when I ate them. I have a very high level of sensitivity to poison oak and ivy, so I am now thinking that I was having a reaction to the mangoes also. I was buying them in a can, eating a can a day. After about two weeks, well needless to say, I had to quit eating them. My rash seemed to be “inside.” If you know what I mean. With all the other digestive problems I have, I guess mangoes weren’t on my list of approved foods. but I didn’t know any of the reasons why. So I found this very informative. Thank you.

  7. oh no that is awful! I guess three a day is too much. Once your body recovers from the rash, I would think one a day would be no problem. Gosh those mangoes look wonderfully yummy. I love to sit at the table with a knife and plate adn cut into a mango bite by bite.
    I hope you recover soon. A rash is never any fun.

  8. My mother had to go to the emergency room a number of years back from eating mangoes. She was told it’s the skin and not the fruit. She had been picking up the mango to her mouth and eating the fruit off the skin. She too had the rash around her mouth which by evening got very swollen. Who would have thought they’d be so scary? Hope you’re ok.

  9. Holly — shhhh, but me, too!

    Amber — OC, ever the scientist, thinks I should rub a bit of mango fruit on my arm and see if the juice burns me again. If not, then he thinks I should try eating it again …. and until I do that, I won’t be able to answer your questions. AND, since I’ve not forgotten how my face felt, I’m not all fired to recreate the experiment.

    As to the jalapeños — if you are allergic on the outside chances are good that you are allergic on the inside, as well.

    Andrew — you may have them. Enjoy.

    Nea — OC can’t have one too very often for the same reason — and I guess me, too. I had the rash outside and other interesting symptoms inside ….

    Jules — it was two a day for three days. I may try one or two a week, several days apart.

    As to the boomerang — I have never had one return to me, but sure as I didn’t want it to, it would and knock me cold!

    Robert — with a botanist in the house you can rest assured I didn’t eat the skin. I even knew to rinse the fruit well after peeling it.

  10. They certainly look good on the vine. I’ve never had any and since my skin has always been sensitive maybe someday or maybe not. 🙂

  11. Carletta — I had to taste — I am an “experience” kind of person — and mangoes are super yummy and that first taste didn’t cause me harm or discomfort, so I continued …..

    You know when you were a kid and your parents said, “If Suzy jumped off a bridge would you jump, too?” My answer to that question was, “Yes!” In fact, I probably would have jumped FIRST!

  12. Sometimes what tastes good is not good for you. I can’t eat tomatoes or I break out in hives and swell up. But I now also avoid a lot of foods that are associated with tomatoes. Life can be rough.

  13. You have my sympathy on this one. Mangoes are too yummy to resist!

    I can’t say that I’ve ever reacted to them like that though, and I used to eat them daily through Summer as a child and teen.

  14. Oh my GOSH! This answers MUCH! I looooooove mangoes! And the last 3 years I have “mysteriously” developed poison ivy — always starting on my hands — even though I don’t go NEAR any plants outside!!! ROFL! I reckon I’ll lay off the mangoes too! Dang!

  15. Dr. John — yesterday my friends ate mango ice cream. I watched.

    Mumma — there are several different kinds of mango. OC suggested I try a more domesticated cultivar before I give up entirely.

    Melli — wash the mango under running water. Peel the mango while wearing gloves. Wash the mango under running water. THEN try eating the mango. Oh, after you eat, wash again — use soap.

  16. how long does it take to grow mango’s and what kind of soil should a person use to grow them. what kind of watering should a person use “what i mean by that is some plants take it different than others . and when should a person eat a mango? you see i have never tryed a mango before and i got my nerve up to try a mango and if i like it i will buy more.

  17. Karenanne — the mango tree was already in the yard when we moved into the condo. We didn’t plant it. Had we planted it we would have used dirt.

    The good news is, most grocery stores happily sell mangoes and will allow you to buy as many as you wish. Oh, and a really good time to eat a mango is when you’re hungry.

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