Just this week, a few dads I know came down with severe cases of poison ivy. Must be all that yard work! Or hopefully something more fun like hiking or golf. I used to get poison ivy all the time and couldn’t figure out why. At some point, a friend pointed out that those weeds I’d been pulling out with my bare hands was actually poison ivy. So I’ve had ample opportunity to experiment with many poison ivy remedies on the market. I’ve found that the more natural options work much better than the usual ones like Ivarest or Tecnu. Here are my top three choices.
Rhus Tox This is a homeopathic remedy that my acupuncturist recommended when I had a terrible case that plagued me for weeks. The conventional remedies weren’t touching it. To be honest, I really didn’t think this would work either. So I was shocked, shocked I tell you, when the day after I took a single dose, the oozing rash started to dry up, and then totally cleared up over a few days. Rhus Tox is available in all natural food stores and on amazon. For some reason, you’re not supposed to touch homeopathic remedies with your hands. To dispense, turn the container upside down with the cover on. Turn the cap left and right until you hear 5 pellets drop in the cap. Then remove the cap and drop the pellets from the cap under your tongue. Hold them there until they dissolve. The recommendation is usually to take a few times a day, and preferably not right after you had anything minty.
Jewelweed Soap This was highly recommended by a yoga student with a dreadful history of poison ivy attacks. Apparently jewelweed grows around poison ivy and keeps it in check. I bought this soap maybe 10 years ago, and scrub up with it when I know I was exposed or first start seeing a rash. I still have the bar, so it lasts a long time and more importantly… It helps a lot.
Lavender Essential Oil What isn’t lavender essential oil good for? It soothes all kinds of skin issues including poison ivy and relaxes you at the same time. There are different opinions about the best way to use essential oils. I’ve found that applying lavender oil directly on the problem area of the skin works very well. However, some people prefer to add a few drops to a carrier oil (like jojoba or olive oil), and apply it that way. Young Living is a brand I trust. The ones you find in stores may not be as effective.
I hope you don’t need these, but if you do, let me know how they work for you!
Image by Pax Ahimsa Gethen