With the warmer weather we are spending lot more time outdoors. The are some great nature preserves and parks in my area that we love to hike, but there can be danger lurking. Remember that saying from elementary school, leaves of three, leave them be? Well, they weren’t kidding!
Last summer, my daughter and I were on a hike in a park near our house. I had planned to stay on the path, so I had worn sandals and shorter pants. When my daughter wandered off of the trail, I instinctively followed her and wandered right into a patch of poison ivy.
Poison Ivy contains and oil called urushoil which is what causes the itchy rash that inevitably follows exposure to the plant. I experienced almost instant burning and itching, and by the time I got home, a rash was visible. I instantly got online and googled what I should do. I washed the area with lukewarm soapy water, and washed all of the clothes I was wearing. Removing the oil from your skin and clothes is important to make sure the rash doesn’t spread.
Once the area was cleaned I turned to my stash of essential oils to treat the itching, and try to speed healing time. I primarily used a blend called Purification, which contains citronella, lavender, which is good for itching and speeds healing, and frankincense, which is good for healing.
My my rash was definitely itchy, but the oils helped with the itch and seemed to dramatically shorten the time that I had a rash. The rash blistered a little, but was noticeably better by the next day. It is important not to scratch at the blisters and spread the rash further.
When the itching and burning were unbearable I soaked the area in some lukewarm water, with baking soda for relief. Sometimes I use a cool rag as a compress as well. Thankfully my poison ivy rash did not spread, and was confined to an area on my leg. For some people poison ivy can spread dramatically and become very serious, even interfering with their breathing. In that case I would not attempt to treat it at home and I would immediately seek medical attention.
Within a week the rash was pretty much gone, and the itching and burning had subsided. I was extremely pleased with the effectiveness of using essential oils to treat poison ivy.