Tidbits: Mugwort and poison oak.
Inbox tidbits: Mugwort might not be a good idea for poison oak.
A nameless reader of the medicinal herbfaq wrote:
"Poison Oak remedy: Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
I have had more cases of PO than you can imagine ... to the nth degree. I once had it near and around my eye. A friend of mine suggested a poultice of mugwort while out backpacking. We boiled the mugwort, made an eye pack with it, and held it to my eye during the evening camp fire. Well let me tell you, mugwort grows around PO, and this mugwort must have had that % phenol derivative all the hell over it. The next morning my eye was swollen shut. How miserable! We canceled the rest of the backpacking trip and reduced some of the discomfort with a few rounds of Bloody Marys. Sorry for the language, but in all honesty, it is ¤!# shitty."
Of course, another explanation is an allergy to mugwort. Which a lot of people have on this side of the pond, dunno how common it is in North America.