Every year, Ben gets poison ivy. Not just itchy red patches, but oozing blisters, too. And it spreads like crazy. No matter how careful he is, he ends up with it. The guy can get poison ivy just looking at it.
So, when we got married, I set out to find something that would work. He’d tried plenty of different things; nothing worked for him. I found this 5-ingredient recipe online, and decided it definitely wouldn’t hurt to give it a whirl. It actually worked! Better than other natural remedies, better than commercial products, better than everything. He’s still gotten poison ivy once or twice since then, but it never got beyond the itching phase. And usually, we were able to get rid of it before it spread much at all. We’d hit it as soon as a small patch appeared, and it generally disappears pretty quickly. We’ve also used it preventatively. Like last spring, when we were hiking and a branch hit his face- looking back, he discovered it was covered in poison ivy. As soon as we got home, we coated his phase in the oil, and he never got it. For him, that’s nothing short of miraculous. Since then, my mom’s used it with all my siblings (who aren’t so careful about avoiding poison ivy!), with excellent success, too.
I’ve also used it for treating eczema on myself, and it seemed to help some. I never found anything (even steroid creams from the doctor) that totally got rid of it, nor could I find a root allergy. However, it disappeared when I got pregnant, and hasn’t come back since! Hooray for pregnancy and breastfeeding hormones! People have also mentioned using it on all manner of skin wounds, including diaper rash, cuts, burns, etc. I have some other salves, so I haven’t tried that, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt! Someone asked about poison oak- I would be very surprised if it didn’t work.
This recipe makes an oil, which we keep in a squirt bottle, and rub on the affected area. However, you can also turn it into a salve, which would probably be a lot less messier, and easier to use on the go. One of these days, maybe I’ll try it… You can search online, basically you just add melted beeswax to your infused oil, so it’s thicker.
You need 1/3 part burdock root, 1/3 part comfrey leaf, and 1/3 part plantain leaf, as well as olive oil and lavender essential oil. All are dried- I haven’t tried working with fresh. I get my bulk herbs from More Than Alive, a great little business catering to health nuts. Put your herbs in a small saucepan and add enough oil to just cover them. Simmer on low for 1-2 hours, until the herbs are nice and crispy. Let cool; strain through a potato sack cloth or other thin cloth. Add 5 drops lavender essential oil per ounce of Poison Ivy Oil (1 TBL of oil = 1 ounce). This acts as a natural preservative, keeping everything fresh! Store in a squirt bottle, or make into a salve and store in small container.