Poison Ivy plant generally grows in the eastern Rocky Mountains but the shrub may also grow in the backyard. The leaves of this plant are arranged in groups of three, five and seven with either smooth or toothed edges. Poison Ivy has such an appearance whose color, texture and the shape varies according to the seasons and the regions of growing. Coming in physical contact with this plant causes dermatitis conditions that are irritating as well as painful. The reaction with a chemical compound in the resin called Urushiol present in this plant is responsible for the various dermatitis condition of the skin. The resin is present almost throughout the plant body and the inhalation of the smoke of the burning plant also causes irritation in the lungs and the respiratory tract.
Most people in North America suffer from allergic reactions caused due to poison ivy. The reactions happen on account of some plants that grow in schools and backyards and other places. There is itching, brown rashes along with blisters and blemishes. Finding home remedies for poison ivy is important as the reactions occur after 8 hours to a week. Children are more open to these allergic reactions. An intense brown rash that is very itchy, comprising of blisters filled with fluid. Red bumps appear in a row or in streaks from the point where the plant came in contact with the skin.
Skin rash or small pimples and inflammation appears which causes severe irritation, itching and burning sensation on the affected parts of the body like face, hands, arms, legs and even in genital areas. Sometimes the symptoms are accompanied by fever. Generally the symptoms appear few hours after the physical contact or they may erupt after few days.
Skin rash and severe irritation is caused due to the chemical reaction of a compound present in the resin, Urushiol which is present in Poison Ivy.
If the skin dermatitis is attended quickly, seldom it requires medical intervention and this can be cured by simple natural treatments. The most important of all home remedies for poison ivy is to wash the affected area in running water. This helps in removing the histamines from the skin. You can also rub the area with jewelweed. Extract juice from the hollow portion of the jewelweed and apply it on the rashes and let it dry. This has to be done regularly. Jewelweed cures the rash in 3 days. Witch Hazel is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat any rash. It is a great drying agent that helps in reducing the blisters quickly and can be applied as many times you require.
Rubbing the affected area with the inside of the banana peel is very helpful in curing the rashes. Among the effective home remedies for poison ivy, is making a skin wash by mixing one tablespoon of goldenseal root powder with one cup of hot water. On cooling dab the rashes with the solution with the help of a cotton ball. Its anti-inflammatory properties help curing the rash. Soak 3 cups of oatmeal in one bowl of water or cook oats and apply it on the rashes and leave it. The white powder that remains after drying is very useful in curing the rashes. You can add a bit of baking soda to it for best results.
You can stop the rash from spreading and cure it by rubbing alcohol on the rash. Wash it with warm water and soap, then dry the area and pour salt on it and wash it again after some time. It will reduce the itching. Apply a thick layer of aloe vera after this. One of the easily available home remedies for poison ivy is applying olive oil on the rash. Rubbing garlic oil is very helpful. Spray some vinegar on the rashes by ignoring its smell. This will help in curing the blisters quickly. Applying calamine on the rashes gives a cooling effect. It helps in curing the rashes quickly.
Most important of all the home remedies for poison ivy is including vitamin C, E and beta carotene and calcium in your diet. On taking large dozes of vitamin C, it acts as an antihistamine and also like a detoxifying agent. Dilute a vitamin C tablet in a cup of warm water and apply it on the rashes for good results. You can apply the juice of a lemon on the affected area. Similarly you can apply orange juice on the rashes to get good results. Vitamin E can be used in a similar manner to get relief.
1. Applying alcohol on the body parts immediately after the contact with Poison Ivy prevents serious complications.
2. The distillated extract of Witch hazel, if applied on the affected area reduces the swelling and itching. It is an effective home remedy for poison ivy.
3. The lukewarm bath water in which colloidal oatmeal is added provides a soothing effect on the affected skin. It is widely used as a home remedy for poison ivy.
4. This soothing and cooling effect can also be felt by the application of Aloe Vera gel, rinds of water melon and tofu. These also help in reducing the poisonous effects of the plant.
5. Application of Calamine lotion soothes the skin reducing the skin irritation.
6. Applying a paste either of cornstarch, baking soda, oatmeal or Epsom salt in water reduces the itching to a great extent.
7. Calendula lotion is also very effective in reducing the irritations and also prevents the spread of the rashes to other areas.
8. Food rich in beta carotene and calcium like milk, carrots should be taken as they boost the body immunity system and quickens the healing of dermatitis.
Menthol from peppermint and other menthol-based plants also have a cooling effect on the affected skin.