Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy, would you recognize it if you chanced upon this straggly plant? Many would not and if you do come into contact with poison ivy, it can be quite an ordeal to deal with the aftereffects. It can grow anywhere — fields, wooded areas, roadsides, riverbanks, golf courses, parks, camping sites and even in your backyard.

Not everyone who comes in contact with poison ivy will have a reaction to it, but many — an estimated 85% — are sensitive to the oils found in this plant. Poison Ivy is not contagious, so it cannot be spread from person to person. However, once you get the poison ivy rash, you are susceptible to getting it again in the future.

Of course, prevention is the best medicine. Knowing what the plant looks like and staying clear is the first step. But, for those who just happened to come into contact with this plant and are dealing with blisters, swelling and infernally itchy skin, here are a few natural solutions.

Bentonite Clay

Mix a little bentonite clay with some water until it has a toothpaste consistency. Apply a small amount on the blistered and swollen areas and allow the clay to completely dry. Gently wash off with warm water.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has long been recognized for its medicinal qualities, so it’s no surprise it can aid in treating poison ivy.  Tear a brown paper bag into strips and soak them in ACV. Most brown paper bags has DMSO in them and this has a drawing effect. Apply the saturated strips to the affected areas and it will not only draw out the toxins, it will remove the itch and heal much faster.

Baking Soda Bath

Add a cup of baking soda to your bath water and have a good soak. The baking soda will remove the itch and helps promote healing at a faster rate. If you want dual action, you can mix the baking soda with ACV and make a paste. Apply to affected areas and let dry completely and wash off with warm water.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has wonderful healing qualities for the skin. Take a real aloe vera plant leaf, slice open the leaf and rub the fresh aloe gel into the affected areas so that it penetrates deep into the tissue. The aloe will draw out the pain, itchiness, and promote healing.


Cucumbers have detoxifying and astringent properties. They’re also cooling and soothing and can defuse the pain, itch and swelling created by poison ivy. Slice the cucumber thinly and apply to the affected areas — and let them dry. You can also mash the cucumbers up and make a paste then apply to those same areas.


Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and alleviate itchiness. Apply cooked and still warm thick oatmeal to the poison ivy areas and let dry. This paste will absorb impurities and offer relief.


  • Thanks for the great tips, you just never know when someone will run into it and I am clueless about the remedies, nice to know!

  • I had a bad case of poison ivy when I was a teenager. The itching was terrible. I would have given anything to have some relief. Thanks for this article

  • I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered poison ivy and probably wouldn’t know it if I saw it. These natural remedies are great to know, though, and are good for other ailments. Thanks for sharing.

  • I have came across poison ivy only once in my life, I saw the rashes they leave, yikes. Thanks for the remedy list.

  • I’ve never got involved with poison ivy but know people who have and it’s no laughing matter. Thanks for the tips for relief from the rash.

  • Thank you for the great tip, i hike a lot in areas where poision ivy can be found rubbing yourself on the plant never is a fun experience. Thank you for sharing !

  • I know that I wouldn’t recognise it, it doesn’t look the least bit like ivy from the photo. I’ve just looked up photos of it on Google and one landscape gardener said “leaves of three, let it be, ” Which is a good pointer, it does make a lovely splash of colour in the fall about the only nice thing there is to say about it though.

  • I really don’t think I would recognize Poison Ivy. I think your Post was very thorough and gave us many remedies for those of us unlucky enough to suffer from the effects of Poison Ivy. I keep a lovely and healthy Aloe Vera plant on hand for burn treatment.
    Thank you so much for sharing these tips with us.

  • Thanks for the list! Luckily, we did not have any run ins with poison ivy this summer, but did have some issues with wasp stings. I have tried all of the above and they all work in varying degrees.

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