Be very careful with sumac
by James w Howe Jr
Sumac usually comes in two varieties: Red which is supposed able to be ingested and white which is poisonous. However , before injesting anything made with red sumac, one should test small amounts of any mixture before using it in any great quantity. Case in point: I had an Aunt that was allergic to ANY kind of Sumac, Red OR white. She lived in Freehold, N. J.. One day some people were clearing an old field about 1 1/2 miles away of the red sumac which had taken over the field. After cutting down the trees, the workers burned the sumac. Now as I just stated she lived 1 1/2 miles away, but the wind blew the heavy smoke directly towards her home where she was working in her garden. She had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance because she couldn't breath. The smoke caused her airway to swell to the point that she could get no air. She spent several weeks in the hospital on a ventilator!
Yes this WAS a freak occurrence, but one should always test the usage of something before using it.