Everyone who ever got a poison ivy rash knows how painful and frustrating it can be. Fortunately there are many home remedies that can be applied to efficiently relieve symptoms of poison ivy rash.
What is poison ivy
Poison ivy or poison oak is a plant that is widely present in North America and known for its ability to cause rash when it comes in contact with bare human skin.
This woody vine has densely haired leaves with three or seven separated lobes. It contains urushiol, an oily substance which causes an allergic reaction on the skin. Some people tend to react more severely when they touch or accidentally rub against this plant, and young people with fair complexion seem to be particularly at risk.
Symptoms of poison ivy allergic reaction include itching, redness, inflammation, blistering and swelling, particularly in the area of the contact. The symptoms can be alleviated with over-the-counter topical medication, but there are natural home remedies that work great too.
Home remedies for poison ivy
A cup of sunflower oil, mixed with a cup of feverfew flowers should be brought to boil and left to simmer for a few minutes. After it cools down, eight chopped garlic cloves are added and the mixture is applied a few times a day, until the rash subsides. This is one of the best remedies for poison ivy.
Boiled sweet fern also does wonders for the rash, and so does garlic oil, which can be obtained in health and herbal stores.
A very simple trick to relieve the symptoms of poison ivy is to rub the inside part of a banana peel across the affected region. Rubbing table salt also works quite well.
Three cups of oats can be mixed in a bowl of warm water and this mixture is then used for soaking the affected area. This brings great relief for the itching and the redness.
It is very important to eliminate the poison and neutralize it. Immediately after coming in contact with the poison ivy the area should be washed with cool running water and then a mixture of water and bleach, in 3:1 ratio can be applied to neutralize the poison and prevent its spreading.
Aloe vera juice and stems of fresh jewelweed can be applied directly to the affected area. This provides instant relief for the allergic reaction.
A thick paste made of baking soda and plain water can be spread in a thin layer all over the affected skin. Baking soda stops the poison from spreading, alleviates the itching and the swelling and soothes the skin. This remedy works great for other allergic reactions on the skin too, for example on bee stings and spider bites.