Post by Contributing Writer, Holly
Most people have gotten into poison ivy at least once, and suffered the consequences. However, some have been blessed with a natural defense against poison ivy’s urushiol oil. They seem to experience no allergic reaction.
My grandpa is such a person. As a young boy, … I shudder to even say this … he ate poison ivy. I don’t know, or remember, why. Maybe it involved a group of little boys trying to outdo each other in double-dares. Who knows, but he learned he’s not allergic to poison ivy. (Do NOT eat poison ivy. Doing so is EXTREMELY dangerous.)
For those not like my grandpa, the constant itchy and burning sensation can be so intense they’ll go to extreme measures to find relief. I read how one person broke open their blisters, and then poured bleach on them. Someone I know poured gasoline on his poison ivy rash.
In this post, we’re going to stick to natural remedies.
1. Hot, Hot Water
My mom read an article how hot water would help with poison ivy rashes. As a result, last summer, my dad used hot water on his poison ivy rash. The hot water was extremely effective, but for a longer-lasting effect he also used an over-the-counter spray. The combination provided 4 – 6 hours of relief. I’ve since come across numerous sites where people claim the same great relief from VERY hot water. (Use hot water AFTER you’ve cleaned the urushiol oil off.)
2. Oatmeal Paste
3. Aloe Vera
4. Baking Soda Paste
Something my mom, someone HIGHLY allergic to poison ivy, has done is apply pressure to the itchy skin. I tried it one time I had poison ivy, and it worked!!
It involves taking the end of a sterile sewing needle and pricking the skin. This gives your skin the sensation of being scratched without actually scratching it. I tried to prick the surrounding skin without actually pricking the rash. The nerves of the skin with the rash responded to the nearby pricks.
Sterilize the needle with either fire from a match or soak the needle in rubbing alchohol. Alchohol is flamable, so don’t get a flame near alcohol.
My grandma used to tell my mom not to use any other type of metal (e.g., thumbtack, safety pin, etc.) because it might infect the skin. My mom’s guess is that maybe sewing needles are made with fewer impurities. She’s not sure if there’s any truth to it. You might do a little research before using something other than a sewing needle.
I recently learned about a plant called jewelweed. Apparently, the stem juice from fresh picked jewelweed works wonderfully on poison ivy rashes. Come spring, I’ll be on a mission to find this among the plethora of poison ivy vines growing in our woods.
A little side note: If the fluid in the blisters gets on other areas of your skin, the rash will not spread to those areas.
Michele’s Note: I haven’t tried it for this use, but I’m thinking my Herbal Bee Sting Remedy might be helpful in this rash, too!
There are so many other natural remedies out there. Herbs and essential oils are among them. Hopefully your skin will respond to a couple of these treatments. Think of them as your first aid kit for urushiol oil encounters.
Have you tried any of these? Have you found something else helpful?
Holly is a wife to her loving husband, John, and a “mother” of 3 canine “children.” She loves sharing her faith, gardening, and fascination and appreciation of animals (birds, bats, butterflies, and the cute furry ones too) over at Your Gardening Friend.