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Friday, July 30, 2010

If Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac are your nemesis- you need these!

I'm new to the south and it's vegetation. I have had the unfortunate experience of having several interactions with poison ivy (or possibly poison oak). Each reaction has been more severe than the previous one. This current one is a doozy. My arms are covered, mostly the tender under sides with raised weeping sores. It has spread behind my knees, the sides of my torso, even my neck and face have splotches. I had to remove my wedding ring due to an outbreak on my finger. Did I say it was miserable?

I have found two things of significant help. The first is an oatmeal bath that I do each night just before bed. It says it is useful for poison oak, ivy, sumac... or other contact dermatitis issues.

Oatmeal/ Essential Oil Bath
(from "The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy" by Valerie Ann Worwood)

2 - 2 1/2 Cups oatmeal flour ( recipe says 4 cups quick cooking oats- I grind rolled oats in my Vita Mix)

1 cup Epsom Salts
3 drops lavender oil
1 drop peppermint oil
1 drop chamomile oil
1 drop geranium oil

Tie this all up in muslin or a sock. (My dh's wears a size 15 and his socks aren't large enough so I use a bird's eye cloth diaper with the edges pulled together and rubber banded.) Let this float around as the tub fills and keep it in the bath.

The bath helps to reduce the horrible itch and I think it has also aided in reducing the weeping.

The most amazingly beneficial product (homeopathic) is Jewelweed. I purchased this after 3 days of pretty intense suffering. Of course, that means I've had it for even longer. The Jewelweed took 2 days to arrive. Here I now sit - almost 24 hours after it arrived and I feel light years better! The itch has subsided substantially, as has the redness. The healing has begun. The weeping has also decreased considerably. I feel almost human again.

At the advanced stage I was at the soap does sting. The spray stings even more. The salve- is wonderful!! It does sting some as well, but is more gentle than the spray. I'd certainly NOT fore-go the soap. When I begin to itch- I head for the salve. It is worth EVERY penny.

I say if you or anyone you love suffers from Poison Ivy- be prepared and get the kit! (and the oils!)

Here are photos taken the day I received the Jewelweed kit and the same spots 2 days later.
(The photos are 'before' and 'after' in sets of 2 on down.)

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