First Slide

Become a PI Ninja!

Fear nature no more!

Minimize the misery of POISON OAK and IVY RASH with the Itchy Business 4-stage plan • Learn the 3 Cs of rash relief • Use minerals, herbs & more to reduce itch & inflammation • Practice safe scratch • Identify, clean off & eradicate the plant.

Section Overviews

Section 2

Understand the potent allergen urushiol causing the rash. Who’s allergic and how that changes. How to clean it off your skin.

Section 3

Understanding skin for rash mastery. How immune overreaction causes rash. Transcend the itch. Be a PI ninja. When to see a doctor.

Section 4

How to practice safe scratch. Treat the rash by its stages and succeed. The Cs of itch relief: cool, calm, constrict.

Section 5

Rash remedies: holistic and conventional products for calming the rash, cooling itch, constricting blisters. Analgesics for pain relief.

Section 6

Identifying the American Axis of Itching— the four main species — in all places and seasons. Innocent imitators. Poison Sumac: the Swamp Monster.

Section 7

Prevent urushiol skin contact with clothes, creams and better habits. Weird ways we spread urushiol around. How to clean everything.

Section 8

Eradicate the plant by yanking, spraying and mulching it. Timeline for waging battle. Combat gear and nuclear-level protection.

Section 9

Urushiol mummies. Poison ivy tree lacquer. Poison oak art. Pop culture poison ivy. Deadly home remedies. Debunking the myths.

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Book Samples

Table of Contents





Section 1





Section 4 – Chapter 1





Section 5 – Chapter 1





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  • Table of Contents

  • Section 1

    - Weirder Than You Know [...]
  • Section 4 – Chapter 1

    - Practice Safe Scratch [...]
  • Section 5 – Chapter 1

    - Rash Remedies [...]

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Who this book can help

Ag, forestry & ranch managers - Arborists & landscapers

Save money! Reduce worker comp — this book keeps your workers out of the doctor’s office. Reduce worker misery — get them relief and back on the job quickly. Teach workers how to identify and eradicate it.

Outdoor recreation professionals

Do you lead groups into parks and forests? Protect your charges by learning how to identify all species of the plant and anticipate where it will grow to. Discover effective protection techniques and how to treat rashes that occur.

Nature enthusiasts of all kinds: hikers, campers, mountain bikers, hunters & more

Enjoy nature without fear of rashes with the right barrier lotions and clothes. Learn to identify the plant in all circumstances. Use the right products and heal from rashes quicker.

First-aid workers, school & camp nurses - ER staff - Skin care professionals

Give your patients options to steroid creams, ineffective antihistamines and analgesics that can be misused. Help them find safe ways to scratch and heal their skin.

Master naturalists & foragers - Park & preserves friends - Litter clean up groups

Do you organize volunteers in improving parks and wild place? Make sure their experience in nature is a positive one so they continue to protect it.

Wildlife scientists - Military personnel - Surveyors & utility linemen

You work hard enough outdoors. Getting a painful rash is more than you should have to bear. Learn to stop the rash in its tracks and get to the root of the problem — inflammation.


Every master naturalist has come into contact with poison ivy — some literally and some figuratively. Amy Martin published a wonderful book this spring that made its debut with North Texas Master Naturalists at Native Plants and Prairies Day called Itchy Business: How to Treat the Poison Ivy and Poison Oak Rash, Prevent Exposure and Eradicate the Plant. The title says it all, but not all the details you need! This book belongs on every master naturalist's shelf. It contains an abundance of information on the subject, written in an informative, and frequently, very humorous manner. ~ Jim McIntosh

If you are susceptible to poison oak or ivy, this book is indispensable. ~ Natasha Kern, Port Salmon, OR

Wish I had this a week ago. Itchy Business is easy to read and contains tons of valuable information. Now we have a poison ivy kit ready and available. Thanks Amy Martin. We learned a lot from reading your book! ~ John Frossard, Ennis, TX

Great advice on a war that most of us who love the outdoors will wage at some point. Easy to read, valuable thoughts from a fun and relatable author. Loved it! ~ Sarah Regan, Amazon customer

I ordered your book, Itchy Business. Very informative with lots of useful tips. I would recommend it to anyone who comes into contact with these mysterious plants and how to avoid or minimize their affect when you do. Thanks for producing this for us! ~ Don Vitsentzos, Plano, TX

The format of this book is easy to follow and is written with humor, too! A go-to guide for those of us exploring woods, prairies and trails with poison ivy. ~ Amazon customer

Really got a lot out of the book. I'm the type who can just look at a plant and break out. So very helpful. ~ Carol Waller, Allen, TX

Although I live in an apartment and am not out in nature a lot, I am sometimes and wanted to see what this book has to offer. Well-laid out with some wit and great writing in the bargain, it's informative and well worth the read and to keep on hand as reference, especially if you're commonly out and about on hikes. As it is, I've recommended it to a friend with a young, active family; someone who can clearly benefit from this book. ~ EM, Grapevine, TX

Mine arrived and I am so impressed and excited to learn about this itch business. Everyone no matter how interested in this vine itself would benefit from the way Amy Martin researches and writes. Bravo, Amy, Bravo! ~ Cynthia Novak‬‬‬, Arlington, TX

The format is well organized it's really easy to read and a little bit of humor. I can hardly wait to get poison ivy again so I can apply what I've learned. ~ Valerie Grimes, Irving, TX

Another great book by Amy Martin! ~ Deanne Eskridge, Austin, TX

Truth is, I'm the layout artist for this book, but I am an honest fan! From this book I got a clear understanding of poison ivy rash and how, and why, to treat it the way the author says. A revelation! I also get how I first got it and then made it worse. ~ Daniel Smith, Dallas, TX

Very knowledgeable and wonderfully witty woman, so I'm sure the book is fabulous — can’t wait! ~ Jessica Vigil, Dallas, TX

Amy Martin was a delight! Her talk on Poison Ivy was fun and chalked full of great tidbits. We learned how to dress and undress. We learned which lotions and potions are bunk and which are good. The human body’s response to the urushiol oil was detailed and fascinating. Everyone enjoyed the talk and learned valuable and practical information. It was wonderful - thanks so much! ~ Kim Conroe, Native Plant Society, North Texas chapter

You were excellent. My wife and i just finished up a nasty bout of poison ivy hidden in Virginia creeper. I should have paid closer attention. ~ Wendel Withrow, Dallas Sierra club.

I got 2 copies of your book, 1 for me and 1 for my daughter. Great Job!! You did an amazing job. Great research and a really good read. Well done YOU! ~ Lee Peoples - Dallas

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation Itchy business. It exploded many myths surrounding effects and treatment of poison ivy and poison oak. Several members told me what a terrific program you did, and folks must have loved it because you sold out of your books! ~ Cecil Carter, Program Chairman, Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas

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Over her varied journalism career of more than four decades, Amy Martin has covered petroleum science and environmental issues, written trail reviews of parks and preserves, penned a book on herbology, and even served as a comedy critic. She operated a North Texas news service for 15 years specializing in holistic health and other alternative topics. During their 12 years of managing a private nature preserve, Martin and her husband Scooter Smith engaged in regular battle with poison ivy. All these come together in Itchy Business.

Martin is known for articulating complex, provocative and sometimes highly technical issues in a coherent and comprehensive way, but also eloquent and lightheartedly wry. She has been employed by the Dallas Morning News (recycling), Dallas Observer (music), and Dallas Times Herald (performing arts and features), and freelanced for many others. She was contributing editor and columnist for the national magazine Garbage (recycling and features). Martin is currently senior comedy critic for the Dallas performing arts website TheaterJones, North Texas Wild columnist for GreenSource DFW, and The Aging Hippie columnist for Senior Voice. Her personal website is

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