Monday, August 20, 2012


Last week my local Aldi had mangoes on sale. I bought two, ate one immediately, and put the second one in the refrigerator.  Over the weekend we put a lot of leftovers in the fridge, and the mango got pushed to the back. I found it this evening.  It was nice and soft, and needed to be eaten immediately.

I cut the flesh off the seed in strips, then put each strip in my mouth, skin side up, and scraped the flesh off with my lower teeth. It was heavenly!  Fifteen minutes later my lips started to tingle, and I realized I'd forgotten to clean them off. I ran to the bathroom and thoroughly washed my lower face with soap and water, then rinsed it a couple of times and dried it carefully. I've learned the hard way that although I love to eat mangoes, they don't love me back.

A couple of years ago I was with a friend, and she noticed there was a red rash around my lips. When I mentioned that my lips also felt chapped and itchy, she asked what I'd been eating the past few days. When I mentioned mangoes, she diagnosed my problem as "mango mouth", explaining that mangoes are in the same botanical family as poison ivy. The peel and sap from mango contain urushiol, the same oil that causes the autoimmune response in its 3-leafed relative.

She recommended an OTC steroid cream, which made the problem go away in a day or so. Since that time I haven't had any long as I remember to clean up after I eat. I love mangoes too much to give them up completely.


  1. No kidding? Thank goodness I'm not allergic to mangoes because I love them. My daughter gets the same reaction as you with watermelon.

  2. I never knew it was in the poison ivy family!

  3. I don't care for them, so safe on that score.