Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Posion Ivy Oil Recipe

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.


  1. Thank you for the recipe. My brother have had poison oak in the past but one brother in particular gets it very badly. He looks at it and it appears on his skin! We believe he had a systemic case once and it never completely left his system.

    I have all that I need to make it except the burdock root; I'll have to pick some of tha tup.

  2. Thank you for this! One of my brothers, has poison oak systemically, and it gets it really bad. Even if he is not exposed (or just looks at it as you say, lol) he will break out with little bumps here and there. So we've gone to great lengths to make sure he is not exposed and if we think he might be, he washes right away using fels naptha which seems to work well for breaking down the oils.

  3. I have everything but the burdock. Looks like a good recipe to try! I'll have to add burdock root to my next herb order :-).

  4. I'm glad it'll be a help! I know we've enjoyed the fruits of this simple recipe quite a bit!

  5. I'm still on the look out for an herbs store. I know there are enough Wiccan's up here for there to be such a store but I haven't found it yet, the health food store people just look at me like I'm seriously crazy. We had one in RI and the teas we could brew for inexpensive! I really really miss well crafted dried herbs!

  6. I'm not sure what shipping to Canada would be, but More Than Alive (morethanalive.com) has a great selection of high-quality herbs. I've loved all their herbs and blends, not to mention the people who run it. :-) There's bulkherstore.com too, but their shipping's pricey in the US.... Local would be nice, though!