I have only had poison ivy once in my life. One time, two patches, and a few miserably itchy days out of almost 30 years doesn’t seem so bad in the grand scheme of things — but it was certainly memorable!
Having never been ‘allergic’ to the plants, I didn’t waste my time with trivial things like looking down at my feet to search for the ‘terrifying’ growth along our hiking trails at camp. I really should have.
I’m not sure what happened, maybe the plants were in such high concentration that I finally got enough juice on my skin to feel it. Whatever it was, I had a patch on my leg and one under my arm (from scratching, I’m sure). I was not pleased. We tried conventional means of healing, such as Benadryl and anti-itch creams, and the goop in the pink bottle; nothing helped much, probably since I could still SEE the offending appendage. Then came the good camp nurse’s homeopathic remedies.
Since we were at camp we didn’t have the ready supply of an herb garden, but we did have Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda. Our nurse mixed a teaspoon or so of the vinegar with a little baking soda (I have since read that it is somewhere in the vicinity of 3 teaspoons, although I’m sure that it would depend on the size of the area in need of pasting) and made a paste to smear on the poison ivy patches. We then covered the area with breathable bandages and I went on my way. Though we had to change out the paste a couple of times before the rash went away for good, the spread was almost immediately halted and the rash disappeared by the end of camp.
This was able to happen because the baking soda relieves itching and the apple cider vinegar pulls poison out of the rash. Although we mixed the two and covered it with a soft cotton bandage/wrap, I haven’t heard of other people using those two ingredients together, but rather as separate pieces of the cure by creating a baking soda and water paste and using vinegar on a towel or poured directly over the area in need.