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Wonder Paste for Poison Ivy


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I have a serious love/hate relationship with poison ivy.  Meaning…it loves me and I hate it!  I have decided that one of the questions I will ask Jesus when I arrive in heaven is “Why poison ivy?”.

Last week while I was weeding my flower beds I stumbled upon this glorious vine *insert sarcasm*.  I didn’t realize it until a few days later when of course I broke out in the classic rash on my legs.  It dawned on me that I had pulled a vine out of my Iris’s and then it clicked…..that was poison ivy!  ~Geez~

I am graced with the presence of this rash at least three times a year.  I never knew where I was getting it, but now I do.  I always assumed it was my dogs getting the plant on them while they were in the woods and then I got the transfer from them.  However, I was wrong, it is growing in my bushes in my flower bed. 

“Leaves of three let them be”

There are many different sites out there that are great tips on determining what is and what is not poison ivy.  This is a really good one I found, if you are interested in reading up on this plant:  http://poisonivy.aesir.com/img/pictures/pi-pics-may/index.php

Usually I buy the ointments at the drugstore or even on occasions have received a steroid shot from the doc.  All of these methods usually still make the rash last at least 2-4 weeks.  This time I decided to fight back and take action myself.  I turned to Pinterest because it’s like the google for home remedies.  I stumbled across this lovely post from frugally sustainable:  http://frugallysustainable.com/2012/07/homemade-and-natural-remedies-for-poison-ivy/ .  In this post Andrea, (author of blog) talks about many different remedies for poison ivy.  I jotted a few down and got to work making myself a human guinea pig.  I have never been one to follow directions all the way though so I mixed a few ideas together.  :-D

The rash appeared on Saturday and I started my at home treatment with my “all natural homemade” paste on Sunday night.  It immediately took the itch away…for at least 12 hours (no joke).  I applied the pasted twice a day…mid-morning and night.  Today is Friday and the rash is almost completely dried up.  I have not itched at all this entire week! ♥

I bet you are wondering what is in my wonder paste aren’t you!  Well let’s get to it!

First and most important….wash the urushiol off of you (this is the oil from the poison ivy plant that sticks and bonds itself to your skin and causes the reaction).  The urushiol will not wash off with regular soap and can stay on your skin until it wears off.  No matter how long it has been since you were in contact with the plant or how long you’ve had the rash, you still need to wash with a strong degreaser like Dawn.  I opted for Fels Naptha which is a very strong degreaser with the active ingredient of benzene solvent.  You can find it in the laundry aisle and it also is a great stain remover.  You might remember me talking about it when I made the homemade laundry detergent. Since I didn’t treat until the day after the rash appeared I had already had one shower.  Normally though you will want to wash the area first with water then use the degreasing soap.  I got to work and lathered and repeated several times.  Then I made a paste out of baking soda, water and tea tree oil.  I used at least 5-6 drops of oil and then made my paste with the baking soda and water from there.  I then rubbed the paste on the rash and let it dry.  I did the whole process including washing with the fels Naptha bar twice a day until I saw the rash drying up. ~Warning~ Tea Tree oil has a very strong oder!  I wore gloves every time I applied the paste so I wouldn’t have the smell on my hands.  Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has numberous healing properties.  If you’d like to read more about tea tree oil check out this site:  http://www.teatreeoiluses.com/.  This will make up a good amount so I kept it in a container so I didn’t have to make a new batch everyday.I would have never thought about using these natural ingredients to cure poison ivy, but it worked and I am a much happier woman knowing how to battle this vicious plant!

***A common misconception is that the rash from poison ivy is contagious.  I would like to state for the record that the  poison ivy rash is not contagious, it is only the urushiol oil that can be transferred to others.  Even though the rash looks nasty the gooey blisters are not contagious.  The oil can stay on clothing or other materials for up to a year so make sure you wash EVERYTHING you have come in contact with before you washed the urushiol off of your skin (this includes your sheets, clothing, etc…).***

 

 Joy

 

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