GROW: The Book
As we are getting into the warmer weather I am outdoors constantly. I always seem to somehow inadvertently run into and get a bout of poison ivy. I would love to hear what your favorite tried and true methods are for treating poison ivy?
Poison Ivy is found in my area but it is not very common so I have no personal experience with it. However, my choice for emergency herbal first aid for this situation would probably be plantain as it likely to be found growing close by. But I would prefer to use the homeopathic remedy Rhus-tox. It is made from poison ivy and is very effective dealing with rashes. Following is a link to the American Botanical Council's HerbalGram on Poison Ivy. There are a number of good suggestions on this page, including using poison ivy itself as a counter-irritant or for hyper-sensitisation. They also mention using it as a homeopathic remedy and that would be the safest way to treat with "like cures like".
My whole family has had it a million times. I hate it! So I’m going to state the obvious because it wasn’t obvious to me my first time through this.
First, was with a good soap. Wash your clothing and sheets and towels. Sometimes you don’t realize you’ve been exposed right away. A colloidal oatmeal bath works wonders, and calamine lotion does help.
So does a salve I make every year. It helps with bug bites and psoriasis too. Anything itchy and miserable. It’s just olive oil infused with chamomile, calendula, and comfrey. I thicken it with beeswax and pour it in tins. I always end up giving a lot of it away to desperate itchy people. Let me know if you’d like the exact recipe.
Last, if there’s a Chinese herb shop near you, I buy forsythia fruit tablets from them and it seems to help speed the whole process up dramatically. I’m not sure why, maybe it helps your liver. Just a guess. It’s also called “lian qiao bai du pian” if that helps you find it.
I hope that helps!
Jewelweed is my go to choice. That stuff is amazing, and often grows near poison ivy. Take the stem and open it, then put the juice from in on your poison ivy. I read somewhere that it binds to the same compounds that poison ivy does, so if the compound is already bound to the jewelweed, it can't bind to the poison ivy. Don't know if that's truly how it works, but it's effective when used right away. It's not as good when the poison ivy has been there a while.
@Megan Venturella Thank you for the info. I would love your salve recipe. :)
@burekcrew86 In the past for myself and others I have used a Cotton Ball and dabbed on Apple Cider Vinegar (it helps to dry it out and helps to ease the desire to scratch). I have also used Poison Ivy soap if the Apple Cider Vinegar does not work, as well as Rubbing Alcohol (it helps to dry it out). Jewelweed (often found near Poison Ivy from my understanding) also will work. For the most part, I would say anything that helps to dry it out would and could work.
@Obiora E Awesome tips. Thanks for the suggestions. :)
I'm highly enough sensitive to it that as soon as I know I got in contact with it, I do a three-pronged attack. Run in and wash up with warm soapy water, dry, pour cider vinegar over the area, and then rub down with the sap of some nearby jewelweed stem.
PI is a very persistent teacher of mine, as well! Over the years, I've always sought out the jewelweed as an external antidote - but in hypersensitivity cases, I keep a bottle of Tecnu Extreme on hand to wash the oils off before the rash has emerged. Once it does, I generally use mud or kaolin clay on the rash, mixed with a little licorice root powder. Taking the powder or tincture of licorice root is also incredibly helpful in these hypersensitivity cases.
@burekcrew86 You are very welcome.