Poison ivy.

Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 14:05:07 EST
From: Dereth Wittenmyer <CSEWITTE.RUBY.INDSTATE.EDU>
Subject: Help! Poison Ivy

I've picked up a case of poison ivy. I've been a lurker for a while, and know some of you will have help to offer.

I've tried the cream of tartar in water for the past two days. No relief yet. Is anyone familiar with this, or have I picked up some totally useless info. ?

Thanks in advance for all replies.

From: jpinna.LI.NET

::I've picked up a case of poison ivy. I've been a lurker for a while, and know some of you will have help to offer.

Try essential oil of lavender, rub a few drops directly onto the itchy area. Or try mixing essential oil of lavender and chaomile in a carrier oil like almond or grapeseed and rub that in. Lavender alone is great for taking the itch out of mosquito bites as well.

From: "Georgann K. Cunney" <curious.AIMNET.COM>

I've had poison oak I don't know how many times and every where you can imagine. I've tried many approaches and treatments. Apple cider vinegar is the most absolute best! You may smell like a salad, but it works. Wash the exposed area well (gently) with warm water and lots of soap. Pat dry or better yet, dry in the sun (too much sun will make it hot and itchy and spread). Apply vinegar and let dry well. It will itch a little as it dries. Apply again. Wear lose clothing. Keep dry and warm enough, but not hot (or it will itch and spread). Apply the vinegar three of four times a day. It usually takes a couple of days before it starts to go away.


Having done too much mountain biking, I am just itching to ask what Herbs are good for poison ivy.

Actually I should rephrase that, I already know what is good for poison ivy (urushiol oil ha ha ha :-) ), What I need now is something to get rid of it!!

From: Deborah Duchon <antdadx.GSUSG.GSU.EDU>

Try jewelweed. It grows wild in wet places, often near poison ivy. You should have rubbed the stuff (use the whole herb. THe best part is the juice in the stem) over your legs, arms, etc. as soon as you were exposed, but it will help now, too.

Jewelweed is Impatiens pallida and other wild Impatiens spp. I have not heard of the garden impatiens being useful for poison ivy. --

From: "R.M.K." <iss.RCI.RIPCO.COM>

|Having done too much mountain biking, I am just itching to ask what Herbs are good for poison ivy.

I posted this last year to news:alt.folklore.herbs and several people wrote me about how well this technique works... I haven't heard of any better...

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) as a relief from Poison Ivy rash.

I first heard of using Jewelweed for poison ivy some years ago, and had varying amounts of success with it; but in the summer of 1988, I developed a SEVERE case of the rash on my feet & ankles, such that I couldn't even wear a pair of shoes; the area between my toes was especially bad, as this area never seemed to dry completely out, and the blisters would continually spread. Commercial preparations gave me fair relief at best... it was at this point I decided to try a different remedy. The following "receipe" is a slight modification of my original formula... but the results myself and others have had using this FAR exceed any drug-store concoction that I have EVER used... spreading of blisters was halted IMMEDIATELY after the first application, and all blisters were dried up within 3 days!

I have read about using jewelweed tea as a preventative, and using some of the juice in bathwater, especially after walking in areas where poison ivy had been seen... I have had no experience with this, but I'm sure it couldn't hurt.

Gather the entire plant, leaves, stems, and all; the plant is very succulent and juicy... I have never had a need to add extra water, but if you do, use distilled. Don't be greedy, either trim tops & outer branchs, or selectively take entire plants from the center of a crowded stand. One large (4-foot) plant should be adequate for the largest rash on one person. Plants will lose turgor and wilt quickly after cutting, this is OK, just makes it easier to emulsify.

Liquify the plants in a blender at the highest speed possible. Then extract the juice by filtering thru cloth, common strainer, or fruit press... a little pulp in the mix won't hurt, this will settle out after a couple hours, anyway. Use immediately, or refrigerate... this stuff spoils rapidly at room temperature..!!

Apply the juice to the infected area with a common paint brush... I've found 1 to 2" size works best. Blow-dry the area as you apply it with a hair dryer on low heat... after several coats of 'paint,' an orange-colored "skin" will develop. This "skin" will protect un-infected areas against the poison ivy allergen.

Repeat this procedure as needed, especially first thing in the morning, and before bedtime. Be sure to use common sense in keeping any fliud that happens to come from blisters away from unprotected areas... yourself AND others. Keeping the infected area as dry as possible will hasten the healing; continue application until no more blisters are present... usually about 3 days.

Ironically, jewelweed favors growing in areas of similiar habitat as poison ivy, therefore it can often be found nearby, prefering moist ground, near water, or often, even in shallow water. It grows rapidly in ideal infirons, but usually doesn't reach significant size until mid-summer; therefore, it might pay to keep a bit frozen in the fridge from the previous year for early-season use. The extract tends to spoil rapidly, even at cooler temperatures, so I wouldn't recommend keeping it for much more than a week without freezing... the fresh solution works best, anyway.

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis; I. biflora) alias: spotted touch-me-not, silverweed, is truly an amazing plant... I would recommend anyone who has a damp-ish area to cultivate some. The plant produces both cleitogamous (self-fertilized), and chasmogamous (cross-fertilized) flowers. Mature seed pods will build tension as they dry, and can "shoot" seeds 5 feet away when activated by a slight disturbance. It is humorous to watch hummingbirds "trigger" the pods as they feed on the nectar in late summer.

Good Luck... Robert.

From: Evan Ravitz <evan.DARKSTAR.CYGNUS.COM>

> Having done too much mountain biking, I am just itching to ask what Herbs are good for poison ivy.

Immunize yourself by eating it! I read about it in a classic called (I think) How to Survive in the Woods. I also read that the expensive shots I'd gotten as a child were merely an extract of PI.

The book said to start with 3 tiny leaves in spring, eating them daily as they grew for some 3 weeks, but I found that just eating 1 leaf (with gloved hands and plenty of water to wash it down) worked fine.

Warning: It is hard to know the right dose. _One_ year (of many) I must have eaten too much and did my arse itch! It seemed to me that plants in more sunlight were stronger.

By now I seem to have lost my childhood sensitivity.

(you might get severely allergic to poison ivy if you do this. --Henriette)

From: Deborah Duchon <antdadx.GSUSG.GSU.EDU>

Evan Ravitz suggested eating poison ivy to immunize yourself. I've tried it, and thought you'd be interested since we're on the subject.

I read about it in a Euell Gibbons book (of Stalking the Wild Asparagus fame). According to Gibbons, Native Americans used to immunize themselves by eating samll amounts of newly-emerged leaves in the early early spring, before the poison gets strong. Here's how. Find very young leaves when they first come out. THey are small, fuzzy, and red. Eat one the first day, w the second day, and so on up to five days. You will be immunized for one year.

I tried this for several years running, but chickened out after 3 the third day. It worked for me. I spend a lot of time outside and used to spend every growing season with some poison ivy somewhere on my body.

Poison ivy will not affect mucous membranes (mouth and digestive system), but some people get an "exit wound" -- a rash around the anus. I suspect they might have an impaired liver, unable to properly metabolize the stuff. As a result, I don't think it should be recommended, even though it works in my particular case. --

From: Howie Brounstein <howieb.TELEPORT.COM>

>Having done too much mountain biking, I am just itching to ask what Herbs are good for poison ivy.

Poison Ivy - use astringents that dry, draw, and shrink swollen tissues. Herbs include Kinnikinnik, Pipsissewa, Manzanita, Black Tea, Dogwood Bark, Willow bark, Oak Bark, Poplar Bark, Madrone leaf or bark, Potentilla, Geum (Avens), Blackberry root, Alum Root, Spirea, and Raspberry Root, to name a few Pacific Northwest locals. Every area is full of astringents, and this list is very incomplete. Most herbal poison oak or ivy remedies are astringents. I like to use tincture or extract, as the alcohol is drying also. Dab it on, do not rub it on. I especially like the salicylate astringents like oak and willow, because they are analgesic and stop the itching. In fact, internal use of willow or oak helps stop the itching and inflammation systemically, excellent for bad cases of "the itch." Certainly those whose are allergic to aspirin (a salicylate) do not have this option.