A little over a week ago I picked a bunch of green beans. I wore 3/4 length sleeves but still broke out in a bright red rash. My initial guess was that I am just sensitive to the type of green bean plant and applied some hyrdrocortisone cream. So when I sauteed those fabulous green beans for dinner, I was surprised when I had a severe allergic reaction about an hour later (we had spaghetti so that wasn’t it). I took some medicine and started feeling better, but made a doctor appointment. I went to the doctor and he told me my symptoms were probably a toxin reaction-not a food allergy. Hmm I thought. It would be weird that I am in my 30s and just now becoming allergic to green beans, but I wasn’t sure what else it could be. So anyway, fast forward to today. I worked in my garden this morning trying to make room for my cucumbers to grow and also kill some Japanese Beetles (soapy water method). I started wheezing while working and once I finished quickly realized I was having another reaction and took some medicine. After talking to my mother, a nurse, I decided that I am actually probably allergic to the Nasturtiums in my garden (and not green beans). I had no exposed skin while working in the garden,and previous years had no reaction to green bean plants so this makes much more sense. This year is my first year using Nasturtiums for pest control. So, needless to say I have another doctor appointment scheduled.
So, beware fellow gardening friends of using Nasturtiums (if you have allergies). Not only does Nasturtiums release a toxin to bugs, but apparently it can affect people as well.
By the way, I am having my dear husband rip out all of my Nasturtiums and rinsing all of my other plants (which may now be contaminated by the flower’s oil) so hopefully I can avoid any other reactions.