An oily liquid that is the main constituent of Japanese lacquer and is responsible for the irritant properties of poison ivy and other plants. It consists of a mixture of catechol derivatives.
- All parts of the poison ivy plant produce the oily irritating agent, urushiol.
- Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac all contain the same allergic irritant: urushiol.
- Unfortunately, the study also found that carbon dioxide-enhanced poison ivy boasts a stronger strain of urushiol, which may prove even more poisonous to humans.
Early 20th century: from Japanese urushi 'Japanese lacquer' + -ol.
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