This past week I was afflicted with the dreaded poison ivy rash on my forearm. I don't know about you but I think poison ivy itch is the worst! Thankfully, I am fully equipped to handle this inconvenient affliction with all natural soaps, salves, and homeopathics. They not only shortened the duration of the affliction but also kept me totally comfortable and virtually itch free. That's the best part. Itch free and no spreading or worsening of any kind. Not only was the rash itself not a problem but I didn't have to enlist the help of a doctor or dangerous and more costly pharmaceutical drugs to help me through the duration of the affliction.
So what did I do? Well let me tell you. As soon as the rash appeared I immediately washed my forearm with our Laurel Mountain Soaps Jewelweed Soap. I rubbed the wet bar against my wet forearm and created a nice thick lather. I let that sit on my arm for about 1 minute before I washed it off. I noticed an immediate itch relief from doing just this part of the process. After I rinsed the soap lather off I dried my arm and immediately applied a generous amount of Jewelweed Salve to the rash on my arm. Just doing those two things made the itch disappear. I was more than thankful. I repeated the washing with the jewelweed soap and applying the salve every morning and evening. Thankfully I was prepared to handle this itchy situation.
So what is it about the Jewelweed Soap and Salve that cleared the itch and rash so quickly? Jewelweed is the natural antidote to Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac. It is a gem in the plant kingdom that can be used to successfully provide relief from all kinds of skin ailments including eczema, hives, bug bites, nettle rashes, and fungal infections. Lawsone is a compound found in the leaves and stems of the plant that is proven to have anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties. It is this watery plant juice/gel that Native Americans used to relieve the itching from poison ivy/oak/sumac, stinging nettle, insect bites, and the other skin ailments listed above.
The unfortunate thing about Jewelweed is even though it grows abundantly in the U.S. it grows side by side poison ivy/oak/sumac. So you really do take a chance at getting the awful affliction you are trying to avoid when you harvest the plant itself. I remember always loving the pretty flowers on the plant and wanting to pick them but, my dad was quick to point out the copious amount of poison ivy I had to get through before I would get to my prize. So as a child I just admired them from afar. At that point in time we didn't know how beneficial jewelweed was. To us it was just a pretty wild flower to be admired in the distance.
So how did I come to realize the benefits and uses of jewelweed? Well I am glad you asked. It was out of necessity. My best friend who was trying to get pregnant at the time ended up with a terrible blistering, bubbling, spreading, poison ivy rash and she was miserable. She definitely didn't want to have to take steroids so she called me and asked me if I had anything to help. That's when I started researching safe things to help cure poison ivy. The best information I found through my efforts was about jewelweed. I quickly set to work to make a salve for my friend to try to help her out. I used a quick infusion method to combine the medicinal benefits of the jewelweed and herbs with the jojoba oil. I then researched the best oils and butters to help soothe the skin and put it all together. Well, to say the least, it was a success! My friends poison ivy rash, which was quite extensive and maddeningly itchy, cleared up without the need for chemical calamine lotion or steroids. I will tell you though that for this first case of poison ivy it took me several days to formulate the salve so her poison ivy rash was already calming down a bit. But she has continued to use the soap and salve anytime she notices the rash starting and it quickly resolves without the need for any other interventions. That brings me to the subject of homeopathy.
While I was busy foraging for the jewelweed, infusing the oil, and then finally making the salve I knew to help my friend successfully avoid all the chemical interventions homeopathic medicines would be necessary. There are several that can be considered when dealing with poison ivy/oak and sumac rashes. They are as follows:
1. Rhus toxicodendron 30c it is made from the poison ivy plant and in homeopathic form it can be most useful in resolving the rash. Hot showers actually relieve the itching if you need Rhus tox.
2.) Anacardium orientale 30c this is for someone who gets the intense itching, swelling and burning when the rash is scratched but sometimes rubbing helps bring relief.
3.) Croton tiglium 30c is for the rash with lots of blisters, inflammation and itching which can be on the face or scalp or near the eyes or on the genitals. It is associated with yellow stuff like the oozing yellow serum that dries into thick brown or grey scabs. Scratching makes it painful.
4.) Graphites 30c is great when there is a crusty appearance and a sticky yellowish discharge and the rash burns. The rash may be in the joint areas or other areas that are covered under clothing like the limbs or torso area. Rubbing that tears the skin might actually help bring relief if you need this particular homeopathic.
Using these remedies three or four times a day can help clear the rash and it's symptoms up. I however didn't even need to use them at all because of the effective use of my jewelweed soap and jewelweed salve. All the natural options I have listed in this blog are chemical free and safe for people of all ages. I do want to clarify that I am not a doctor and I am not offering medical advice. I am just sharing the wonderful options that have kept myself, family and friends from having to go to the doctor or depend on pharmaceuticals that always carry unpleasant side effects with them. My personal go to is the jewelweed soap and salve because it just knocks the symptoms and rash away so quickly and effectively.