Poison Ivy, Poison oak, Poison Sumac…which ever one you get yourself into, if you are allergic to it, it is miserable! We have tons of the stuff here on the homestead. There is no possible way to keep up with it, unless I take all the trees down, and I am most definitely not doing that (if anything, I would plant more!), so we have to deal with getting ambushed by it on a regular basis.
As the old sayings go, “leaves of three, let them be” and “hairy rope, don’t be a dope”, are great little ditties to remember, but not a magic warding spell for sure! No matter how many times I chant them to myself and the heavens, somehow I always end up smack dab in the middle of poison “leaves” de jour.
Thankfully though, there are some wonderful natural remedies that can help take the itchy skitchy out of the encounter!
Virginia Creeper: It grows where the ivy’s grow, if you think you may have touched it grab some leaves from the vine and rub them on the area exposed. Just make sure it is leaves of FIVE first!
Jewelweed: These leaves help neutralize as well. I have not tried this one but intend to next time I find it at the same time I get in a tussle with one of the poison vines.
SO HOW DO I GET RID OF IT?
Dish Soap: The most important step! Wash it off with a good grease cutting soap. This will remove most of the oil that has not penetrated the skin. This is one of things that you have to do as soon as humanly possible to minimize the effects of the poison oil.
Wash your clothes and any other item that may have come into contact with it.
Oatmeal: Grind some up and take a soothing oatmeal bath, or even a paste you can apply with a cotton ball. This is one of my favorites.
Baking Soda Paste: Dissolve a cup of baking soda in your bath or if a small enough area I like to put a baking soda pack on it and leave it til dry. I will sometimes make a pack and just wrap it for a while.
Calamine lotion: A mixture of zinc oxide and ferric acid or iron, it makes a wonderful anti-itch lotion.
Cucumbers: make a paste from them and apply for a soothing effect.
Apple Cider vinegar: helps healing by breaking down the oils. It can also be cooling though it may sting at first.
Alcohol: It will help break up the oils, you can use either isopropyl or grain.
Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is great once the spot has stopped oozing. It will speed up healing.
So as we prepare for our spring mushroom season, prepare yourself with knowledge! I am!