My husband and I both recently got poison ivy rashes. I’m usually pretty good about immediately washing any areas that come into contact with the weed but it seems like my tendency towards overdoing it in the garden got the best of me this time. He seems to get it without even going in the woods. The silver lining to our affliction was that we got to test out some natural remedies.
The first thing we tried was Young Living’s Joy essential oil. It’s one of my favorite scents so I was happily surprised to hear that it was helpful for poison ivy. Joy is a blend of Bergamot,Ylang ylang, Geranium, Lemon, Coriander ,Tangerine, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa and Rose essential oils. It smells amazing and was very soothing and calming to our skin.
We both experimented with using Young Living Lavender oil next. It didn’t cut the itching as well as the Joy but was very soothing on the second day of when it was more of a burning sensation. I’m a huge fan of Young Living oils and we use them for EVERYTHING but this was one of the more profound experiences I have had using them!
A few notes on safety. We applied these oils “neat” or undiluted but if you are worried about skin irritation I would suggest using a carrier oil. Young Living’s oils are extremely pure and high quality so they can be used in ways that many other brands of essential oils cannot. I would NOT apply any other brand of oils to my skin. Also, Joy contains citrus oils and as with any citrus you should avoid direct sun exposure after applying.
Plantain leaf is a medicinal plant that grows wild in most yards and is considered a weed. I’ve had success using it on bug bites and also on another patch of poison ivy that popped up on my finger (I just can’t stay out of the woods!) The way I use it is to chew it up a bit to release the oils then secure it in place with a band aid over the itch. I know people make salves with it but I haven’t tried that yet! Here’s a photo of it growing in the yard followed by one that shows plantain leaf close up.
Also an extreme close up of my hand. How many times must I have creased my hand to get all of those amazing lines?
Another natural remedy that I tried out was Jewel Weed. This lovely plant is considered the natural antidote to poison ivy and is said to grow near where poison ivy is found. We are lucky enough to have a little patch of it in the yard. It is usually found in shady and moist conditions. This one worked really well too! I used the same method as I did with the plantain leaf on yet another patch that popped up. When I took the band aid off about an hour later there was NO itch or sting and the pain didn’t come back! The first photo shows what the plant looks like in my yard in June. The second shows the flower that blooms later in the summer. I would have had NO idea what it was if I hadn’t seen it in bloom last year though! Prairie Moon Nursery sells Jewel Weed seeds for anyone interested in cultivating some yourself!
Overall the essential oils were easier for covering large areas but the jewel weed and plantain leaf worked well too and were great for smaller areas. I’m so happy that we have figured these out! I’ll continue trying to avoid it but I’m glad to know these just in case it gets me again!
If you would like purchase some Young Living Joy or Lavender for yourself send me an email at LMKOLENDA@gmail.com or read this post to learn more about getting started with essential oils.
What has worked for you when you had an encounter with poison ivy ?