There are many poison ivy remedies and poison oak cures. The purpose of this poison ivy remedy page is to tell you the ONE herb you really should know when it comes to poison oak remedies or poison ivy treatments. I will follow it up with a few extra poison ivy remedy ideas.
I spent my childhood covered with poison ivy! I may now live in a part of the country where there is no poison ivy, but when I was a kid I lived in New Jersey. I don’t think I remember a single summer where my arms and legs weren’t covered with poison ivy. Once I had it SO bad my entire face puffed up and I was out of school for two weeks. It was horrible! I wish I had a good poison ivy treatment then.
When I started working for Wilderness Awareness School in 1991, I finally learned the secret poison ivy cure…
Actually, there are TWO poison ivy and poison oak remedies.
Number one is not an herb, but simply awareness.
Know what poison ivy and poison oak look like in all their forms. Did you know that poison ivy can look like a big hairy vine growing up a tree, a bush, leaves in a tree, or a small plant in a field?
Poison ivy is the herbal trickster. Get to know it. Awareness is your ULTIMATE poison ivy remedy.
Number two is an herb … Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
Jewelweed is a plant that grows in wetter conditions, such as near a stream.
Pick a bunch, crush it, and rub it on exposed parts of your body that might come in contact or have already come in contact with poison ivy. It is a juicy plant. It is more effective before the oils set into your skin that cause the rash.
Knowledge of jewelweed coupled with awareness is the true poison ivy remedy.
- Collect a bunch of jewelweed and make a tea. That is, bring a pot of water to a boil (4 cups or so), put the jewelweed in (chop a large handful), and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then strain it out.
- You can bathe in this tea, just treat the affected area, or freeze it into ice cubes.
- You can apply the ice to exposed areas or areas that are already suffering from the rash.
- Transplant some jewelweed to a wetter area of your yard, such as by a pond. It is beautiful!
“The Results of a Clinical Study, in which a 1:4 jewelweed preparation was compared for its effectiveness with other standard poison ivy dermatitis treatments was published in 1958 (Annals of Allerty 1958;16:526-527). Of 115 patients treated with jewelweed, 108 responded ‘most dramatically to the topical application of this medication and were entirely relieved of their symptoms within 2 or 3 days after the institution of treatment.’ It was concluded that jewelweed is an excellent substitute for ACTH and the corticosteroids in the treatment of poison ivy dermatitis. The active principle in the plant responsible for this activity remains unidentified.”
– Varro Tyler, PhD, Herbs of Choice
More kitchen poison ivy remedy ideas
- Using baking soda: Apply the paste of baking soda and water to the affected area liberally. This stops the itching as well as calamine lotion. A great poison oak treatment.
- Using buttermilk, salt and vinegar: Mix equal parts of buttermilk, salt and vinegar. Rub on affected area. Use it AFTER the rash has appeared. Helps stop itching and soothes. This poison ivy remedy works well.
- A green tomato? Squeeze the juice of a green tomato. After you come in contact with poison ivy, wash with water immediately and then apply the tomato juice.
I hope all this information helps you as an effective poison ivy remedy!