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Celebrating the Power of Plants for Conscious Living

Treating Poison Ivy with Herbs

By Faye Sakellaridis

Poison ivy is ubiquitous, and can easily sap the fun from enjoying the outdoors on a sunny day. If you get afflicted, don’t fret — certain herbs are great for soothing this irritating rash.

Rachel Johnston offers advice on how jewelweed poultice, coconut oil, clay mud, and other herbal remedies can be used as a salve.

via Herbal Academy of New England:

Sooner or later, many of us will encounter poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Whether you are foraging, gardening, hiking, or just enjoying the warm sunny days, there is a good chance you will see one of these plants. Fortunately, there are several natural poison ivy remedies that can help offer you some relief in case you come in contact with poison ivy!
Our first line of defense is prevention. First, learn how to properly identify poison ivy – Poison-ivy.org is a great place to start if you are unsure what poison ivy looks like. If you know you will be in an area with lots of these poisonous plants, wear clothing that covers legs and arms if possible. On hot summer days this is not always practical, but for short foraging adventures it is worth keeping skin covered as this protects it not only from poison ivy, but also from sun and biting insects. Be aware of your surroundings and limit contact with these plants whenever possible. After you return home, change clothes right away to avoid contact with any oils from poison ivy.
 
If prevention does not work and you find yourself itchy and uncomfortable, do not despair! The following remedies can help sooth the irritated skin so that you can keep enjoying these long summer days.
Poison Ivy Remedies
Jewelweed Poultice
If you have access to jewelweed, a wild plant often found growing near water, and you know you have just brushed up against poison ivy, crush the leaves and apply them to the skin right away to lift some of the oils off the skin and possibly lessen the impact of the poison ivy. To have jewelweed on hand for the next poison ivy encounter, make a jewelweed infusion by boiling fresh jewelweed in water or extract jewelweed juice using a juicer. Freeze either of these preparations in an ice cube tray and store in a freezer bag.
Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, and this can help soothe the rash. Apply it after showering to keep skin moisturized.