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White Shoe PolishMaybe not so natural but white shoe polish from the "old fashion-shake-it-up kind" contains pipe clay that has effects similar to calamine. Apply as you would calamine. Another ingredient in white shoe polish that has the same effect is zinc oxide
-- Varro E. Tyler, Ph.D (professor of pharmacognosy at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana)
I'm in the throes of a facial bout of ivy...after many years it has
caught me again. I was pleased to see that so may "offbeat"
remedies had been tried and seemed effective. My 5th grade teacher
suggested white shoe polish after a truly agonizing bout that
nearly drove me crazy. I am now using hot water "presses",
Benydryl, and white shoe polish at night. In my 3rd day, it seems
at least stabilized...I Am hoping for 1 week instead of 3. White
shoe polish was the real turning point in 5th grade when my
forearms we nearly scarred and raised whelts marked my face and
neck.Thank you Mrs. Reeves for suggesting the shoe polish. Hope it
works as well on older skin!! [email protected]
Dawn/Joy/Lye/octagon/Palmolive Soap/Bath OilOne thing many folks mentioned here was that one should shower or bathe with "soap". NO! Soap is only marginally effective at solubilizing cresols [actives in PI]. Use some "high end" dish detergent designed to go after oils and greases, like Dawn here in the US. Joy would work, too.
Poison Ivy keeps its poison in an oil base that is
active in all seasons, dead plant or living, and on
any surface touched by the oil. Use detergent to
release the oil from clothing, tools and you.
The best way to rid yourself of the oil that causes poison ivy rashes is to
scrub the exposed area with Palm Olive or other detergents. I am extremely
allergic and am exposed to poison ivy throughout the summer. Palm Olive
keeps me sane.
As many other people have I suffer from what many people call the devil
plants at least two times a summer and sometimes during the other seasons. as
a matter of fact I have poison oak right now. I have very sensitive skin so
the use of creams, oatmeal baths, and other type remedies have only made the
problem worse. my cousin told about a soap that is usually used for laundry,
woodwork, and other cleaning jobs. the soap is called octagon, it is a
product of the colgate palmolive company. the soap can be found in the
laundry detergent aisle in some stores but most do not carry it. It is drying
up my poison oak quite quickly and i hope it can help someone else. if you
have a hard time finding it you can email me at [email protected] or call the
colgate palmolive company in nyc. i don't know if i can post the store's name
without permission so email me and i will tell you where to find it. it is a
very cheap remedy. i paid .69 cents.
I find that works is Epsom Salts and good old fashion Brown Soap, it
seems to dry these poisons up. You soak in a warm tub with Epsom Salts
for about 15 to 20 mins and wash with brown soap. Ivy Dry also works great,
one other product, which I cannot find anymore, that worked very quickly is
Zyradryl. I even used it on my son when he had the chicken pox and
dried it right up. I hope this helps fellow sufferers of these poisons!
Just always remember when gardening or clearing brush to wear long pants and
shirts, shoes, socks, and heavy duty work gloves! Also, always remember
to wear sometime of cap or scarf on your head too!!
I was out at my boyfriends house picking weeds for his mother to earn money
for a trip that we wee going on... the next day i found that i had little red
bumps on my arm and this intense itching. I knew it was probably poison ivy.
well since then i still have it but not a severe case. But I have found some
medication that proves to be affective. Super Ivy Dry * releves iching due to
minor skin irriatations * posion ivy* poison Oak * and posion sumac. Also
Itch- X (dual-acting itch gel) With Aloe Vera It stops itch instantly.. i
hope this will help some one.
Likes dissolve likes. use an oil product such as Johnson's baby or
Neutrogena's body bath oil on areas that may have come in contact with
Poison ivy. Rub in with a wash cloth while in the shower, repeat then follow
up with a liquid or powdered detergent. then flush with plenty of water.
This usually works in reducing the amount of resultant rash significantly.
Any remaining rash can be soothed by a colloidal oatmeal containing product
I also garden and spend the better part of the spring & summer pulling
poison oak & Ivy by hand without gloves.
We found Palmolive dishwashing detergent full strength not only stops any
serious break outs but also seems to stop the itching as well.
I always use full strength palmolive on the skin after exposure and unless I
miss an area, I never get the stuff.
My mother is extremely sensitive to it and she too can handle it without
contacting the rash, if she uses Palmolive.
I did contact the maker of the product but they said they wouldn't recomend
their product for medicinal purposes. But, I tell all I know and so far no
one has had any adverse reaction to it's use.
Another great way to seemingly cure the poisons is lye soap. Lather
up and let dry. I also like to use hair spray, it seems to help the oozing and
the itch. Good Luck!
Hyper Allergic outbreak to poison ivy, Emergency!
ZANFEL, A SHOT FROM THE DOCTOR, & PALMOLIVE DISHWASHING CLEANER were the only
items that really work! You also have to clean everything you touched with
baby wipes or you get reinfected.
Clean - car keys, door handle & stering wheel. all laundry items, computer
keyboard, and anything else that you touched.
I tried all of the other solutions, but they did not work, I suffer every
I'm desperate to try anything, to get rid of suffering, I once tried bleach.
It worked at killing the poison ivy and my skin.
If there is any other solution to poison ivy that relly works please let me
know so I can help others. Thanks & God bless Rich
I also wish to comment on the recommendations by some folks to wash
one's skin with a strong soap to wash away the toxic oil
(urushiol). Strong soap can actually increase risk of contamination
with urushiol because one's skin can be stripped of its own
protective oils and hasten the speed and intensity of toxic
reaction. I have found that immediately rinsing with plain water is
best. Next best (don't laugh) is gently "patting" the urushiol off
with a fine --- not coarse --- dry soil, such as taken from a
footpath (it tends to absorb the oil); if only a very small area is
affected so one doesn't accidentally & carelessly spread the oils.
The best method, of course, is to wash the affected area as soon as
possible with cool-to-warm water and a gentle handsoap such as
Ivory; even a properly made lye soap, though the word "lye" makes
it sound horrible, is very gentle. And never, never ever use
petroleum derivatives (kerosene, gasoline, etc) on one's skin after
one has been exposed to urushiol. Such products only damage one's
skin and enhance the toxic oils ability to penetrate. I hope this
helps some one.
My husband and I live with constant poison ivy all summer as we
have purchased a large section of property we are in the process of
clearing. I noted 2 patches on my face - one above my eyebrow, the
other under my nose - both on the left side of my face and starting
to swell. I smeared full-strength Palmolive dish detergent on it
for 2 days and was relieved to find the swelling slowly but surely
lessening. I was left with dry patches on my face but the soap
stopped the blisters and swelling in its tracks. Many thanks to
your Wonderful web site and comments from others.
At this very moment I am trying to get relief from poison ivy! By
chance I stumbled upon your webpage and it's the best thing I've
found so far! I just tried the dish detergent cure (joy) and my
face feels better already! Right now, I'm sitting here with full
strength joy on my face and it seems to be working! I'm going to
find some Zanfel to keep on hand for my next bout from this
annoying rash! Thanks again for all the information - it really
helped me out!
When I know I've been exposed to poison oak, as soon as possible, I
wash from head to toe with dish soap. (Remember the commercials
that show how the soap breaks down grease and oil?) I've never
developed a rash when I've followed the above. I've had too many
nast rashes from poison oak to not share this information. It works
for everyone I've told. Please share this with everyone!
I seem to always get pi every year. If a farmer is burning it or if
I come in contact. I have found that one of the best remedies is
Lye Soap. Wash with it under hot water and then lather it up again
and let it dry. I hope this helps yall as much as it does me.
I was very happy with the itch relief I got from washing for 15-20
seconds with hand dishwashing liquid. I used Bi-O-Clean (from a
health food store or natural food coop) because that's what I had
and I knew it wasn't damaging to my hands. I'd guess that the
brand under your sink might work. I rinsed with lots of cool
water. I tried it in a small area first to see if there were any
adverse effects. I had tried many other things in my 13 day
probably systemic bout with poison ivy. This is the only thing that
took the itch away. I think it unbinds the poison ivy oil like it
unbinds grease from your dishes. An herbalist and nutritionist
told me not to eat any greasy or fried foods or nuts and to hold
on all oils, even the good oils; this spreads the urishiol. Also
any heat will spread the poison ivy -- no sweating, no hot water.
Fels Naptha SoapAs a Second-class boy scout in 1943, following a woods hike, we were advised to shower with a bar of Fels Naptha soap, a very popular detergent, and preferably leave the lather dry on the skin. I had problems only when I failed to do this, which has become more frequent since it is hard to find the product. However, I note that your contributors also mention Octagon, which was similar, and Pine Tar Soap. I suppose that these strong detergent soaps have the same a bility to remove the poisonous oils before the reaction sets in, and if applied later, accelerating the relief.
-- Arnold ([email protected]) submitted 10/May/2001
Fels-naptha soap and bleach
cures it for me ... I wipe it on with a rag directly on the blisters and they
My best after-exposure clean-up is Fel Naptha laundry soap.
Wow, my daughter has a rash that her doctor says is poison sumac. I am in
northern california and didn't think we had poison sumac. Poison oak we have.
Anyway. She was exposed on june 17th and today july 2nd, there are still
blisters appearing. we didn't know she had been exposed and so was in her
same clothes, etc., all day. poor thing. she's 5. anyway, I don't get it but
my brother does, he swears by Fels Napa (sp?) soap, showers from head
to toe, meticulously starting at the head and working his way down. he has a
system- head, neck, shoulders, arms, then upper body and down. can't ever
let the contaminated rinse water touch an area that is already cleansed. and
all clothes are washed immediately prior to the shower. the faster you get
the shower the less rash. ALSO "Round-up" works to kill the plants. we have
sprayed it where ever we see it pop up in the yard, and depending on the size
of the plant, it goes away.(too bad we missed the plant in our neighbors
Fels-naphtha soap (found in the Laundry detergent section of the grocery store) will work to prevent poison ivy rash after exposure to poison ivy provided:
--"Marland, Laura" ([email protected]) submitted 10/Jul/2002
Shakely's Basic H/ Watkin's Organic cleanerSeveral years ago I got poison oak. A friend recommended Shakley's Basic H - every time I walked past the sink I washed the effected area (my arms). After 2 weeks of suffering, within a day it stopped itching and didn't take too much longer for it to go away. I recently got it again, and bought some of Watkin's Organic cleaner. It seems to take the itch away also - basically, all this is "washing with water" plus a biodegradable cleaner that "makes water wetter". My dad was in the navy, and the doctor there had him put bandages soaked in a solution of water and borax (20 mule team is what you can find at the grocery store). Within a day or 2 it stopped itching and cleared up. I'm trying this too. Clorox is too strong for me, but the borax doesn't hurt at all - I'm just washing in it, not bandaging. the abrasiveness feels good! Benedryl tablets seem to help me keep my sanity. Next time I'll let someone else pull the dumb stuff !
[email protected] submitted 21/Jul/2000
AmmoniaAmmonia neutralizes urushiol. In a spray bottle, mix one part household ammonia to ten parts water. Spray your skin and clothes before going into areas with poison ivy. Also spray yourself immediately after contact. Allow to dry thoroughly before washing up. When used within 20 minutes of exposure it is effective in preventing the rash. It does not work on established rashes.
--tish nye ([email protected]) submitted 5/Jul/2001
Lacquer ThinnerI have gotten poison ivy many times and I use lacquer thinner and soak a rag in it and wipe myself down. Stops the itching and it is gone in a day or two. Been doing it since 1969 and every one I suggested it to worked also. It's an oil and the thinner evaporates it.
-- Cliff Gruendler ([email protected]) submitted 25/May/2001
I use RoundUp annually in the spring when leaves emerge and plants
are actively growing to reduce the incidence of accidental exposure
to poison ivy around the house. If I accidentally come in contact
with leaves or vines I mix one part Chlorox to 10 parts water and
take a sponge bath to neutralize the oil on my belt, shoes, and me.
All other items of clothing go in the washing machine with a
standard laundry soap. If I follow this formula within a half hour
of exposure I save all the agony and avoid itch, blisters, and
searching the net for remedies. Fortunately, I have learned to spot
an ivy plant at 10 to 20 feet distant. Prevention is truly worth a
pound of cure when dealing with the itchy plants.
I do remodeling work on run-down houses in North Florida where
poison oak/ivy thrives. I started itching just from reading this
site. I have learned to be very vigilant for the early
signals/symptoms of contact with the poison. When I'm working
outside and I feel the tickling sensation starting, I immediately
clean the area on my skin with lacquer thinner or acetone (not
paint thinner or mineral spirit)on a rag. I have also found
carburator and break cleaner sprays as well as starter fluid to
work as efficiently. The sprays are also more convenient and easy
to handle. Remember all these products and their fumes are very
flamable. Also you'll experience some burning afterward, specially
if you are in direct sun. I suggest washing off the treated area
five minutes after application. I do not recommend this for
sensitive skins or mucous membrane areas.
BleachWell .........!. After so many entries. I just simply got confused, However, I would love to share that I currently have lived a my address for four years and every year I get infected with poison ivy. 2001 is no exception and I am again infeected with this poison ivy. I have had my share of home remedies, the first year was the worst I had boils the size of 2 inches in a linear fashion. Cortisone shots from my physician. Following year, I had total, upper body coverage with rash. This time I was proactive the first red blotch that appeared I went for cotton ball and Clorox Bleach, dabbing three times daily,with undiluted Clorox Belach. I also ingested 3 Benadryl tablets for three time daily, Today, is day seven and I have not had any itching just real small pimples like an insect bite, no drainage, So Clorox does it. Last night I also sprayed the pimples with Clorox Disinfectant,this added a cooling element to areas that became a little itchy after mowing the lawn. I know Chlorox has it hands down it really works for me. I pour Clorox directly from the bottle onto cotton balls and dab my skin. For the shower. I dilute the bleach in a wash pan and lather the washcloth with soap and a diluted bleach solution to cleanse myself.
--"Codling" ([email protected]) submitted 30/Jun/2001
Hey, When I get poison ivy I get it to the worst scenero. What I do to get rid of it might sound alittle crazy but it can be done with over the counte r things. I just scratch it open, put clorox on a cotton swab and dabb it on the scratched open surface. It scabs the poison ivy and makes it stop itching, then it goes away after a while of doing this. It is well worth the little sting. Kirk Manini
--"Manini" ([email protected]) submitted 21/May/2003
I noticed the home remedies for Poison Ivy. I have several
poison Ivy rashes right now, but they are very minimal since contracting it three
days ago. I mowed a lawn out in the country and saw poison ivy everywhere
and knew I should rinse after mowing. I rinsed with cold water on my face
and arms, but neglected my legs. Within 24 hours I saw the first rash and
poured vinegar over the rash areas. Washed my clothes and shoes to get
rid of any trace of the Urushiol which causes the rash. I then use a cap
full of bleach to about 2 gallons of water and soak the rash areas. In
order to control the itch I use a hair dryer and blow HOT air on the rash which
releases the histamines in your skin which causes itching. While air
drying you will feel a great urge to itch, but don't just keep drying
until your skin has had enough of hot air. This will relieve itching for
up to 8 hours. I also found that using Clearasil pads for acne helps dry
out the rash. This has helped my keep this poison ivy rash to its very
minimum with no noticeable blisters. A Dr. prescribed Triamcinolone
Acetonide cream also helps, but is not very effective on its own.
A Bleach remedy that works!!!! Man oh man, EVERY plant, insect or skin
condition that can itch, WILL make me miserable for days on end. I
always get it worse than anyone I know, whether it's poison oak, ivy,
chiggers, mosquitoes, you name it. I've found over the last 8 years of
living in southwest MO (having moved from Los Angeles) that the best
solution for me is the following. This works for all plant infections,
as well as doing wonders for chiggers and mosquito
bites/itching/swelling. I get into a VERY hot bath, as hot as I can
stand. I pour in at least two cups of Clorox *Outdoor Concentrated*
Bleach. It's pure and powerful stuff, but it works. I also tend to open
windows and wear some kind of mask just for fumes' sake. I sit in the
tub and use a stiff loofah to remove the tops of the chigger bites, or
to pop blisters from poison ivy/oak, what have you. If you've ever
suffered days of itching, then discovered the bath thing, and sat there
scrubbing and itching every bite or rash, you know the marvelously
torture/pleasure this can bring!!! If I feel them stinging in the water
as I agitate it with my feet, legs, etc., then I know I have used
enough bleach. No stinging? Add about a half-cup of bleach until it
DOES sting. Sit for about 15 minutes, using the loofah to keep the
rash/bites open and seeping. The bleach draws out the histamines and
poisons/oils which fester in there! After 15 or 20 minutes, I hit
everything with the loofah again, and if they no longer feel itchy, I
get up, drain the tub, then take a hot shower, to clean off all bleach
and oils/blood which develop from the die-hard treatment I just
endured! Then, after towel-drying the infected area, I apply isopropyl
alcohol on a cotton ball directly onto each bleeding bite or area of
rash. This entire method HURTS like hell, but for me, who has
hyper-sensitive skin, it beats the weeks of misery and scarring I used
to endure. The pain of the stinging bleach and alcohol, the wonderful
pleasure/pain or scratching open the bites/rash, is almost
masochistically sensual! Those who've been there, finally going to town
on that damned itchiness, know what I'm talking about! It's extreme,
and I have a handful of minor scars from having done this once or twice
a year for the last 8 years (my area is a haven for itchy plants and
pests!) but I can SLEEP and not have chills, fever, etc., which usually
hit me if I'm suffering from these things. Hot tub, bleach, alcohol, it
works for me!!!
Purell Hand SanitizerHi I just went through a bout with poison ivy, third in my life. Never had it growing up thought I was immune to it. I have gotten it almost every year since I moved into this house. Each year getting a little worse. Pulled a vine this summer. Cold showers worked best for me. Then I started using Purell Hand Sanitizer it dried it up real fast. I had been using Caladryl Clear on the skin and an allergy medication to help the itch stop from the inside.(equate instead of Benadryl) the Purell stung but killed the Ivy. Used a combination of all three.
--"lindsalt" ([email protected]) submitted 15/Aug/2001
Editor: Looks like www.purell.com for additional information.
Pine-SolLiving in South Georgia as I do, Poison Ivey, Poison Oak, and Sumac is a everyday occurance. My home rememedy is original Pine-Sol. 1 to 2 tablespoons in your bathwater stops the itch and drys the poison. I also use a cotton ball and dab the spots. This feels so good!!! This is also very good for Red-Bug bites.
--"Debbie Herring" ([email protected]) submitted 27/Aug/2001
I have used Pine-sol in my bath water everytime I have gotten it..i
stracth them open int eh water.. And afterwards lots of
alchohol..then let dry and put calamine or caladryhl lotion on it
and that should helop in about 4-6 days should be completly
gone..any thing wrong with pine-sol that can hurt you??
I just tried the Pine-Sol method. The itch is gone!! I put it in
the bath water like they suggested and I put some on directly to
the affected areas and now it doesn't itch at all. Thank you!!!!!
I usually use Tecnu and Pine-sol is so much cheaper and works
the same or better. Kathy Szramka
Formula 409I have cured my poison oak symptoms in just a few days by scrubbing the problem areas with 409 twice daily, after scrubbing I apply Extra Strength Benadryl itch stopping gel.
--"Robert Kilpatrick" ([email protected]) submitted 29/Aug/2001
Goo GoneI'm allergic to Poison Ivy. When I get contaminated it just oozes to where it will be a steady drip, face swells, eyes swell shut etc. Then the hormone treatment etc. I've found that as soon as I feel itchy if I wash the affected area with a product called goo gone from Magic American my outbreak is very minor. I've been doing this for two years and haven't had to get the hormone pills. Just be sure to wash twice with soap to get the goo gone off because it will leave you with sunburn sensation if you don't rinse well. I use it if I think I've been exposed too and it eliminates the outbreak.This is the best cure I've found after 30 years of outbreaks.
--"Andy McLeish" ([email protected]) submitted 20/May/2002
Editor: The website can be found here. I wonder if that orange magic would work also?
GoJoThe best thing I have found to help get rid of Poison Ivy is GoJo Orange Cleaner! You know the stuff you Wash auto grease off with. It works wonders You just got to remember to use cordazone10 (an anti-itch cream) too. The GoJo dries the poison oil of the plants. But the best advice I have Is to be patient and Try Not To Scratch. I Really Like the hot water thing It works, Just like scratching without scratching
[email protected] submitted 11/Jun/2002
Purpose SoapMy daughter (23 mos old) & I broke out in a body-wide poison ivy rash a week & a half ago. We, as we now know, have poison ivy everywhere in our backyard. I Tried chlorox on myself, rubbing alcohol on both of us, Calamine lotion, prescription lotion, swimming for hours at a time in the public pool (for the chlorine exposure), washing everything I could think of, Benadryl, etc. nothing worked for us. Absolutely nothing. The rash would not go away, seemed to be spreading, & we were so frustrated.Then I noticed!!! The poison ivy that was on my face was barely there & in spots it wasn't there at all! What was the difference? The face soap I used twice a day: Purpose. I thought hmmmmmmm, could there be a connection? So I began to shower with it -- allowing it to sit on my skin as long as I had time for -- rinsing off with hot water. I used it on our daughter. In one night, one of her worst patches was dried up considerably.You can buy it anywhere that has products like Neutrogena or whatever else for facial skin. Wal-Mart is where I got mine. It comes in a blue box, called Purpose. It's an orange bar of soap.There must be a drying agent in it that unintentionally dries poison ivy rashes up & eliminates the itch like a charm. It lasts several hours. I think I should notify the manufacturer of this secondary effect of their face soap! But for now I just wanted you all to know of this wonderful secret I inadvertently discovered. I'm so glad I did.Relief! Finally!!
--"Danna" ([email protected]) submitted 10/Aug/2002
AwesomeI have a nice case of poison sumac and I am trying a cleaner as I speak Called Awesome I got it at a local store I diluted it some the ratio I think is 50/50. It has been 15 mins and the blisters have become really red then they had returned to the pink tone it seems to be drying those areas up well. I took two Lysine pills too they. My wife takes them for cold sores I am trying these two treatments. I was planning to go to a doctor about this but after reading about all the different treatments I believe that it is the same slow process of getting rid of the stuff. Just like a cold you will have it for a week if you take nothing, if you take cold tabs you will have It for 7 days. I am going to try that mighty hand cleaner goop on my other arm to see If that will help too I guess I will be my own Ginny pig for this great cause so I will be back late to give you all a follow-up on my own treatment John P.S. I have this sumac in the hidden places too,that you do not show the public. I will see what will work some areas are sensitive so I will go slow in them areas wish me luck.
--"John" ([email protected]) submitted 3/Sep/2002
BoraxI've found that "scratching" with 20 Mule Team Borax, the washing powder, not only relieves the itch but cuts down the duration time in half-- for me from 14 days to 7. You can either make a paste and apply to area or soak using 1/2 cup to 1 cup in pan or bath tub.
--"Brenda St. Pierre" ([email protected]) submitted 2/Apr/2003
WindexBelieve it or not, Windex seems to be effective. I saw it in my big fat greek wedding, and used it on some poison Ivy I had contrcted in September. Although it doesn't do much in the area of actually drying the rash, it is an extremely effective method of Itch control.
--"andrew" ([email protected]) submitted 20/May/2003
Dial SoapWow what a great website - I'm currently fighting a battle with an outbreak of poison ivy - I mowed a couple of weeks ago and yeah I got it - one of these days I'll invest in some chemical to really rid myself of these - but in the mean time I usually wash up to the elbows with dial soap and wash anything that has come into contact with it with either a strong dish soap (degreaser) mix or wash a couple of times in hot water with strong detergent. The doctor told me about the dial soap - I buy it by the 12 pack and use it everytime I come in from the outside. I guess I missed a patch this time. Thanks for the website - I guess I'll go visit the Ortho store soon.
--"Cheryl Kauffold" ([email protected]) submitted 8/Jun/2003
Industrial Hand Cleaner
After reading many of the articles concerning the use of baking powder, banana peels, oatmeal, etc to remove the offending oils, it occurred to me that, as a mechanic, I frequently use a compound that not only removes oils but protects the skin.
I got into the shower and, using water as hot as I could stand, scrubbed the offending areas with industrial hand cleaner. I used the orange (citric acid) based but am sure the petroleum based would do the same thing. As long as it itched, I scrubbed. The theory is this - the itching is caused by a histamine reaction between the oils and the skin. As long as the oil is present, the itching will occur. I scrubbed with a scrubbing puff until the itching stopped then rinsed the areas with the hot water. The pain was big but the itching was gone and stayed gone. Explained it to my doctor and she thought is was an excellent idea and did not understand why she had not thought of it herself. Hope this helps.--"Dan Brooks" ([email protected]) submitted 30/Jul/2003
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