Hello dear friends,
It never fails, every summer it seems like one of us in our family gets poison ivy and each time I try to find the best remedy. Usually it’s my son. He spends the most time outside and is usually oblivious to his surroundings. Well, this year, careful little me, somehow got it. Sigh… It’s just on a little spot on my inner forearm. How in the world it got there, I have no idea. Maybe the cat touched it? Anything that touches poison ivy and then touches you, can spread the oil to you and bam, you have it. If you know you’ve been exposed you can immediately wash the area with dish washing soap and this should remove most of the oil and you may not get the rash. I however, had no idea I was exposed so I didn’t have the opportunity to do this. I’ve already put some calamine lotion on it and it is helping to dry it out. Very graaaadually… Now I’m going to scour the Internet and see if there are any poison ivy remedies out there that people have tried that can make it go away faster. At this point, I’ve only had it for a couple of days so it’s not very developed yet. A 3×2 inch area of tiny itchy raised bumps.
In case you’re wondering what poison ivy looks like, it’s a leafy vine that often grows up or around trees. The leaves grow in clusters of 3 and each of the leaves has uneven edges. In other words, the leaves don’t match each other. Each one has a slightly different shape. Sometimes the leaves look dark green, sometimes they are light green. The leaves also tend to have a light hairy fuzz on them that is not noticeable unless you touch it. I don’t recommend this! I actually found this out after seeing on a Little House Episode. I’ll include it below.
I found a lot of remedies to help stop the itching. The one I like the best is making a baking soda paste with water and baking soda and putting it on the affected area. Come to think of it, a couple of months ago, I got stung in the foot by several fire ants and I put a baking soda and water paste on the very itchy bumps that formed and it helped a little, but what really helped a lot was a paste made of Borax and water. Borax has even higher alkalinity and it helped neutralize the acidic poisons. It may work well on the poison ivy rash as well.
I found a few things that are actually supposed to make it dry out faster. My favorite remedies here were apple cider vinegar. It helps draw out the poison. I wonder if that’s true. I’ll have to check on that. The other remedy is Himalayan Crystal Salt paste. I’m not sure why it has to by Himalayan, but it stands to reason that salt has a drying effect, so it helps dry the rash faster. I don’t have any Himalayan salt on hand, but I do have some Real Salt, a natural brand that is unprocessed and contains some other beneficial minerals.
After reading some testimonials, I’ve learned that dabbing alcohol on the affected area each time you feel itching helps dry it out quickly. Also, putting magnesium oil on the affected area. Here it is in their own words:
“All of these are okay “remedies.” However, none of them will actually stop and reverse the poison ivy. I have found one thing that will. Magnesium Oil. At the first sign of the poison ivy bump or blister, scratch it open and rub in magnesium oil. The attack will end there.”
I’m not sure if this would work for me, because rubbing magnesium oil on my skin makes it break out in an itchy rash. Nevertheless, I had to include it here because the writer seems to imply that it makes it go away completely and fast.
I decided to put some Witch Hazel on it. The bottle I have also has 14% rubbing alcohol in it so I thought that would qualify for both, the Witch Hazel and rubbing alcohol suggestion. I folded a piece of a tissue to cover the affected area and poured the Witch Hazel on it until it was saturated. It felt cooling and the itching stopped. Then I rinsed the area with water and patted dry with a paper towel. I’m paranoid about touching it with anything that will touch other parts of my hand, like a towel. I don’t want it to spread. Then I covered it with calamine lotion again. I’ll try some of the other remedies tomorrow. It still doesn’t itch so, I think I’m going to get some sleep now. I’ll continue posting on this topic tomorrow.
It’s several days later now and the poison ivy is still on my arm. It has gone through stages of the bumps growing itchy and more numerous and denser. Now they are blistery and starting to ooze what looks like plasma. I tried the borax paste, salt paste and putting a little magnesium oil on it once but none of these seemed to make a difference. The only thing that has been soothing has been frequent applications of a Witch Hazel Alcohol combo followed by covering it with a calamine lotion paste. It seems to do better when it’s uncovered but for the most part I have kept it covered with gauze because when it was uncovered I noticed a couple of new dots, it was spreading farther up my arm, from my sleeve going up and down, I guess. I wore a long sleeved shirt to make sure it was covered and I didn’t inadvertently touch and contaminate anything else.
On the upside, even though I haven’t been able to prevent it continuing going through it’s stages, I have managed, for the most part, not to scratch it. So, it hasn’t spread any farther. It’s just filled in the area where it already was.
Broad Leaf Plantain Poison Ivy Remedy
Another poison ivy remedy I have read a few testimonials about and found a patent for is broad leaf plantain. So I am going to try some sap from broad leaf plantain today.
The sap worked pretty well to alleviate the itching and some of the swelling of the poison ivy rash. I put it on twice a day for the last two days and over night with a gauze bandage over it. Tonight for over night, I had to go back to the witch hazel
and alcohol mixture because the itching was worse again. I poured some on a sanitary panty liner and taped it to the area with medical tape. This keeps
the alcohol and witch hazel most and active longer.
More Poison Ivy Remedies
I just found some other possible way to speed up the healing of the poison ivy rash. I will try it tomorrow. Here are two testimonials I found at the Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac Information Center website:
Taking the homeopathic remedy RHUS TOX before poison ivy comes out may help to be a little more immune to getting it. Works for me. I take it all summer.
–(mcherb@NOSPAMptd.net) submitted May/13/1999
Rhus Tox was very effective for me. Within 24 hours of taking the first dose my itching and inflammation was noticeably reduced. I cleared up to the point of being able to conduct life normally after only 3 days, and I had a TERRIBLE case. I had it all around my eyes, eyelids, nose, cheeks, arms, and shoulders. I had to stay home from work 2 days because I was completely unpresentable. Rhus Tox worked so well that it dried up the rash on my face before it ever developed pus. The rash on my face simply stopped itching and dried up. I would recommend Rhus Tox homeopathic treatment to anyone. This is the second serious affliction that homeopathic remedies have cured for me. They work! My dosage: 3 pellets of 30c concentration, every hour or two the first day, then three times daily afterward. I never used half of my package – I was cured before I could use it.
–J. Souza (jsouza@NOSPAMchartermi.net) submitted 28/Jun/2001
Natra-Bio’s Poison Oak/Poison Ivy Relief
I just recently got a bad poison ivy rash, and after 2 days, it was just itching more and getting worse. Benadryl and Calamine weren’t helping, so I went out and found Natra-Bio’s Poison Oak/Poison Ivy Relief – a homeopathic medicine. After 4 doses – over only 2 hours – my rash was COMPLETELY GONE! The itching subsided after the first dose! Although I have always read that homeopathic remedies worked, I myself was somewhat sceptical about how effective they could really be. But, at least for this particular one – which is primarily composed of Rhus Toxicodendron 6X – I am a believer.
– M. Lawell (bluetabby2@NOSPAMaol.com) submitted 25/Jun/2001
A homeopathic product called rhustox4x from Washington homeopathic products, inc. worked for me. I know, you are saying that’s not going to work. Well I said the same thing but I used to break out in sections spanning anywhere from 6 to 12 inches on my arms legs and even once my face right next to my eye. Now when I see some break out points I start taking the Rhustox4x and I only have a few mildly itchy blemishes that go away within a week or less. The first time I figured I had just gotten lucky, but every time since I haven’t had more then a few blemishes and that was it!!!! My last test of the product was on a backpacking trip. I went off for two days(didn’t shower on the trip) and when I came back I saw break out points. I washed everything took the Rhustox4x and tada the breaks didn’t get worse the itching subsided and it all went away. In short try the stuff!!!!!!! It worked for me
–”Charles Fico” (charlesdfico@NOSPAMhotmail.com) submitted 16/Jun/2002
If you liked this post or have comments or questions please comment below and share this post with your friends. Also, as always, if you have remedies for Poison Ivy that work for you or your friends, please post them below.
Love and Light,
Sources and Further Information:
Patent for broad leaf Plantain solution for use as a poison ivy remedy.
Here’s a link for the whole episode for those that are interested. It’s pretty funny: The Camp Out.
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