from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A toxic substance present in the resin or on the surface of plants of the genus Rhus, including poison ivy and the lacquer tree, from which a black Japanese lacquer is obtained.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An oil found in plants of the family Anacardiaceae, causing an allergic skin rash on contact; consists of a variable mixture of several organic compounds.


Japanese urushi, lacquer + -ol1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Japanese うるし (urushi, "lacquer") +‎ -ol (Wiktionary)


  • "urushiol" (from the Japanese word for lacquer, urushi).

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  • * All of these leafy plants contain an oil called urushiol that is irritating to 50 percent to 75 percent of us.

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  • You know, it's the oil sap in poison ivy called urushiol that causes those painful rashes.

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  • Mango, you know, contains urushiol, which is the poison in poison ivy.

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  • The other kind is much more common -- a contact dermatitis caused by a compound called urushiol found in the sap and the skin of the mango.

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  • The oil is called urushiol, and it's that oil that causes that causes that rash to occur on your skin when you come into contact with it.

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  • They cause an infection of the skin with an oil called urushiol that is stored in their sap.

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  • The oil from the leaves, called urushiol, causes nasty skin allergies in many people who come into contact with it, producing itchy rashes and blisters that can last one to three weeks. Top Stories

  • The offending material in all species of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac is an oily resin known as urushiol.

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  • Relief from poison oak and poison ivy — Choose soaps specifically designed to treat the nasty rash caused by urushiol oil, a sticky toxic substance found in the sap of these noxious plants.

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