Naturally Treat Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Treat poison ivy or poison oak rashes with this natural remedy.

| November 2017

  • Use lavender essential oil in your paste or bath to treat poison ivy rashes.
    Photo by Shutterstock
  • "Natural Solutions for Cleaning and Wellness" by Halle Cottis
    Cover courtesy Page Street Publishing Co.

Natural Solutions for Cleaning & Wellness: Health Remedies and Green Cleaning Solutions Without Toxins or Chemicals by Halle Cottis (Page Street Publishing Co., 2017) is a comprehensive guide to natural and nontoxic cleaning and wellness solutions that you can make at home. If you get a rash from poison ivy or poison oak, this excerpt helps you create a natrual remedy, which you can apply as a paste or add to a bath.

Poison ivy and poison oak are Asian and North American plants that, when touched, can cause a red itchy rash. One can get poison ivy or oak from touching any part of either plant, even if the plant is dead. Burning poison ivy or oak in a camp fire can also cause irritation. Not everyone is allergic to poison ivy or poison oak, but most people will notice some itching and skin irritation within 24 to 48 hours of contact. Bumps and blisters can appear and ooze liquid. The rash can last anywhere from 5 to 12 days. The rash from poison ivy or poison oak is not contagious. Urushiol, the oily allergen found in poison ivy and poison oak, is what is contagious. When you brush against poison ivy, it is the urushiol that causes the rash. If it remains on your skin or on the clothes that you are wearing, it can spread to others. Always wash your clothing and skin after you come in contact with poison ivy or poison oak to prevent it from spreading to other parts of your body or to another person. Wash clothing (shoes included) in hot water with a detergent that cuts through grease.


Yield: paste: about 1 1/2 tbsp (23 g), bath: varies
• 1 cup (206 g) + 2 tbsp (26 g) baking soda (divided)
• Water
• Apple cider vinegar
• 2 or 3 drops lavender essential oil (optional)


1. Mix 1 cup (206 g) of baking soda into a warm bath and soak for 20–30 minutes. Dry completely.

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7/10/2018 11:34:07 AM

Any type of irritant that creates histamines that itch can be greatly reduce the itching for long periods of time and promote healing is simply hot water. I'm 74 yrs young and grew up around ticks, chiggers, and poison ivy. The itching is caused by the production of histamines at the wound site. Hot water releases them. You want to apply flowing hot water directly to the site. Let it run while you gradually turn up the temp. Not to the point you will scald yourself, but as hot as you can stand it otherwise. You will literally feel the histamines release. It will feel like all the itching coming at once. Very intense! The itching will subside, and then you can go enjoy several itch free hours. A fringe benefit to all this is that you will notice healing within 3 days instead of the usual 5 days or so for relief. You can thank me later when you are running around throwing away all that phony OTC itch stuff that promises hours of relief but only gives you a few minutes of relief. H2o who knew?

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6/3/2018 5:37:31 PM

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