Poison Ivy, would you recognize it if you chanced upon this straggly plant? No one wants to come into contact with poison ivy, the aftereffects are exasperating to deal with. 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.
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 have 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, but it will also remove the itch and heal much faster.
Baking Soda Bath
Add a cup of baking soda to your bathwater 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 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.