The weather is warm. The birds are chirping. You've spent some time outdoors…and you got poison ivy. Nothing ruins sunny days quite like the itchy, burning patches of this rash that spread like wildfire as soon as you take a moment to relieve yourself via scratching. It's important that as soon as you have an inkling that your skin may have been taken hostage by the urushiol oil that seeps from this pesky plant, make sure that you wash the affected area with grease-cutting soap and water, as well as launder your clothes. This keeps any excess urushiol from transferring elsewhere. After that, if you're not a fan of traditional medical treatments such as hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion or steroids, never fear. Here are five natural poison ivy remedies that'll have your glowing complexion back to normal in no time.
- Lavender oil is known to have healing and soothing properties, which makes it a good remedy for poison ivy, especially after the blisters have opened. While it can sting at first, generously applying lavender oil with a cotton ball a few times a day can result in rapid healing.
- Rhubarb stem is a remedy that some outdoorsmen swear by. All you have to do is break the stem, soak up the juice with a cotton ball and apply it to the affected area a couple of times. Although there is little medical data to prove this theory, like most old-fashioned remedies, there are plenty of people who refute the lack of evidence.
- Pistachios or cashews are in the same family as poison ivy and contains urushiol. The theory is that by eating these nuts, you'll build up a little bit of immunity to the awful oil that makes your skin break out. Tomatoes are also in the same family and contain urushiol, so if you're not a fan of nuts, eat a tomato!
- Apple cider vinegar has been known to break down the oils that make up urushiol and take out the toxins. Apply it with a cotton ball and then cover the area with a paper bag to draw out the toxins. Like lavender oil, it can sting at first but that's a small price to pay to get rid of that itchy burn.
- Redmond Clay is made up of sodium bentoinite volcanic ash, giving it a negative electrical charge which attracts positive charges. Because most toxins, such as urushiol, have a positive charge, Redmond Clay can easily and effectively draw out the bad stuff. Simply apply the clay to the affected area every 8-12 hours, and that nasty rash will disappear before you know it.