So this morning when Emi came into our bedroom, she said she was itchy and when we looked at her belly there was an angry looking rash...looked like insect bites! We felt SO BAD! The rash was only where the "itching powder" came into contact with her skin so she wasn't BSing around with us yesterday. (Doh!) She still had to issue her apologies for her behavior, but today we were sympathetic to her condition. Got her some anti-histamine stuff specifically for hives. Via a little research (ala Google) I could not find much on allergies to Sweet Gum Tree seed balls, but I did find out this:
Chemists have found that the seeds of the sweetgum fruit contain significant amounts of shikimic acid, the starting material used to produce the main antiviral agent in a much-heralded drug for fighting bird flu.
Shikimic acid is used to make a generic drug called oseltamivir - best known commercially as Tamiflu® - which is used to fight many types of flu viruses. Some health experts believe that this and similar antiviral drugs could help save lives by slowing the spread of the virus in the absence of a bird flu vaccine, which is still in development.
So I guess we can feel good about skipping the flu shot again this year...