Many of us choose to embrace the wild and natural beauty that’s in our world, but after reading this, you might want to reconsider.
When a Vermont woman named Charlotte Murphy found herself walking in nature alongside a road, she spotted some pretty yellow flowers. Not knowing what they were, or what they would do, Charlotte walked through the yellow flowers without a care in the world. But a couple of days later, she found some bumps on her legs.
At the time, Charlotte was unaware that she had been affected severely by the plant and worked outside for the next several days. But after the bumps turned to massive boils that gave her the equivalent of second-degree burns, she knew something needed to be done and something needed to be done fast.
Charlotte took to Facebook where she shared graphic images of her skin; she learned that the yellow flowers that she had seen were very poisonous parsnips. The oils that came from the parsnip’s stems, leaves, and blooms came in contact with her skin was concentrated with furanocoumarins. After further research, she learned that if the plant’s natural poison got ultraviolet light exposer, it would severely burn with 24-48 hours.
The Department of Environmental Conservation suggested anyone coming in contact with the parsnip to “keep the exposed area away from ultraviolet lights and to immediately wash the affected area with soap and water, and keep it covered for at least 48 hours to prevent a serious reaction.” Unfortunately, too much time had passed for Charlotte.
By the time Charlotte had made her way into the hospital, it had nearly been a week; she was severely burned where the parsnip oil had come in contact with her skin. Charlotte had severe burn blisters from above her foot to above her knee.
After being treated for the burns at Fanny Allen Urgent Care and daily treatments at the UVM burn clinic, Charlotte was able to go home and rest. Doctors bandaged her legs to stop the spread of the poison and she is expected to be fully recovered in the upcoming weeks.
But today, she’s encouraging American’s to not always stop and smell the wild roses; there are several plants in nature that we are not meant to come in contact with. These wild parsnips are all throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. If you happen to be outside and experience nature, make sure to wash your body thoroughly.