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Summer is a beloved time of the year, full of barbecues, swimming pools, and a lot of time spent relaxing outdoors. The season of sun is all fun and games. That is, until someone gets stung. Or sunburnt. Or has a nasty run-in with poison ivy.
Click here for the Home Food Cures for Summer Bummers (Slideshow)
Skin isn’t the only thing to worry about when gallivanting around in the warm weather: damaged hair, earaches, blisters, and reactions from encountering poisonous plants are all common problems for adults, adolescents, and children.
In a world of over-the-counter pills, creams, and quick fixes, we’ve found (more) natural ways to combat the ailments that can ruin a day at the pool, a picnic at the park or a lazy Sunday at the beach… and don’t get us started on a destroyed vacation.
Rather than rushing to the nearest pharmacy, cures for common seasonal setbacks can be concocted in the kitchen. Put away the car keys and credit card. Instead, browse through your pantry (and fridge) for edible ingredients that medicate. In fact, they might already be on the counter as you’re preparing for your next barbecue.
Just by using simple kitchen tools like tablespoons, mixing bowls and a pot (to boil water in some instances), will do the trick when Band-Aids and other first aid kit staples fall short of solving setbacks.
With these easy fixes, you’ll spend more time in bathing suits, sun hats, and flip-flops. Focus on enjoying the warm weather instead of nursing wounds and buying up the drugstore.
Of course, for very serious matters, call 911 or visit the doctor.
Pull together a sunburn treatment to cure those red-hot shoulders. During bikini season, some people avoid potatoes because of their carbs, but not Jamie Ahn, owner of Townhouse Spa in NYC.
Heat Rash Relief
Looking tan is nice, but save the red-hot look for lobsters and lipstick. Abby Fazio, owner of New London Pharmacy in New York City, says it’s best to avoid eating spicy foods or sugar, as well as alcohol. Her recipe is a cinch:
This story was originally published on July 18, 2014.
The Only Cure for Poison Ivy You'll Ever Need
We all know summertime can come with certain𠉫others. Mosquitoes. Bee stings. Sunburn. They’re just a part of taking part in the great outdoors. Whether you go camping, head to the lake or just take a walk, you could accidentally brush up against that bother of all summer bothers: poison ivy.
When poison ivy comes into contact with your skin, this sneaky plant can give you a red, blistery and awfully itchy rash. Caused by an oily resin called urushiol found on the plants’ leaves, poison ivy can leave you itchin’ and scratchin’ for weeks. Luckily, it will clear up with time. You’ll just have to test your willpower for a while to keep from scratching your skin raw.
The other downer? You can’t exactly rock a sun-kissed beach bod with a red, blistery rash on your leg. And, who wants to frolic in the sun when you can’t stop scratching anyway? Calamine lotion and other salves and balms will ease the itch, but Mother Nature can provide you with one even better. Get instant relief and clear up a rash faster with the only poison ivy treatment you’ll ever need: jewelweed.
How to Make Poison Ivy Treatments With Jewelweed
You can make it into a tincture as described above.
Supplies & Ingredients:
- quart jar
- stems, leaves, and flowers of Jewelweed – chopped
- alcohol (I use 80 proof vodka)
- a few leaves of plantain, yarrow, chickweed, cleavers, and comfrey – chopped
- Place the Jewelweed in the jar, filling it about half full. Add the other leaves.
- Cover with alcohol – enough to cover the leaves by at least a quarter of an inch.
- Place the cap on the jar, making sure it is tight. Shake well.
- Place in the sun and shake every day. Leave for at least three weeks.
- When it is finished, strain and store the tincture in a cool, dark place.
Jewelweed Poison Ivy Solution
Then I use the Jewelweed tincture to make this Jewelweed poison ivy solution.
Supplies & Ingredients:
- a pint jar
- 4 ounces of the Jewelweed tincture (from recipe above)
- distilled water
- 5 drops lavender essential oil (find pure lavender EO here)
- 5 drops tea tree essential oil (find pure tea tree EO here)
- cotton cosmetic pads (like these organic cotton pads)
- a small jar with a tight-fitting lid (these are a perfect size)
- Place 10-12 cotton pads in the smaller jar. Set aside.
- Pour the tincture into the pint jar. Add enough distilled water to double the volume. This will give you a 20% alcohol solution. If you find this too drying, you can add more distilled water.
- Add the essential oils and cap tightly. Shake well, and immediately pour over the cotton pads, making sure you saturate the pads completely.
- Store any remaining Jewelweed Poison Ivy Solution for up to 4 months.
Using Your Jewelweed Poison Ivy Treatment
To use this Jewelweed poison ivy treatment, simply squeeze any excess liquid out of the cotton pad and wipe it on the affected area. This not only makes a great treatment for poison ivy, oak or sumac, but also rashes, bug bites, and minor scratches.
Top 10 Fast Ways How to Treat Poison Ivy Rash & Blisters at Home
Poison ivy is a plant which is known for causing severe inflammation of the skin, as known as contact dermatitis. It contains a sap triggering instant irritation if it comes in contact with the skin directly. Poison ivy sap is found in nearly every part of the plant, including the leaves, stems, and roots. The sap contains an oil called urushiol, a pale-yellow, oily substance. In case any of this extremely sticky oil touches the skin, it can cause a blistering skin rash. Although some people are not sensitive to this oil and never develop symptoms, around 85 percent of people will experience a rash upon contact with poison ivy  . Signs of a reaction to poison ivy often include intense itching, red bumps, called papules, swelling, hives, blisters, often developing in lines and oozing, red skin or red streaks, and crusting skin.
As summer is in its presence, it is vitally important to know how to treat poison ivy and poison oak rashes when people, especially children do outside activities. It is rare for most people to react badly in skin breakouts for the very first time they come into contact with poison ivy, nonetheless, they have the tendency to develop skin rashes in subsequent exposures. There is no specific time as to when the blisters and rashes can heal completely, but for the most part, they will diminish in some weeks after the exposure without the use of any topical creams or medications. The culprit for the skin breakout is definitely the urushiol oil stemming from the plant. However, there are some tips and tricks you can follow to reduce the seriousness and heal your skin faster from the blisters and rashes caused by poison ivy.
What Are The Symptoms?
Predominantly, people can safely treat the rash at home. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, the best thing to do is to consult a doctor to have relevant medical treatment. If you have any of the following symptoms, you had better go to the emergency room right away:
- Breathing or swallowing become challenging for you after you develop the rashes.
- Your face and genitals have the most blisters and rashes.
- Your body is predominantly covered in red bumps and itchy rashes.
- Too many blisters or rashes can be noticed on your body.
- Your skin itches terribly, and literally no treatment under the sun can relieve the itchiness.
- Swelling is a big part of the symptoms, particularly on your face and eyelids.
If you do not have the above serious symptoms, the rash appears on a small section of your skin, and you are absolutely certain that your rash is due to poison ivy, poison oak,  you may be able to treat the rash at home. In this article, we, have provided top 10 natural ways how to treat poison ivy rashes and blisters fast at home.
Baking Soda for Poison Ivy
The Amazing Fennel Tea for Improving Digestion
4. Baking Soda Spray
Baking soda spray is an ideal handy option, especially if you are out of cotton balls or clean rags.
To Make a Baking Soda Spray
- You have to mix one part of baking soda and three parts of water.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture on the rash several times a day.
Some poison based-plant rashes could cause hazardous skin infections like a poison ivy rash. Baking soda treatment is one of the best home remedies to treat poison ivy rashes, swelling, or the itchiness effectively. Baking Soda is the most economical solution to get rid of the annoying symptoms.
1. Can Pregnant Women Use Baking Soda for Poison Ivy?
Since you are using it for application, pregnant women can also use it. But you should never consume it, as it can irritate your stomach during pregnancy. If you are having any other doubts regarding baking soda application to treat poison ivy, please contact your doctor immediately.
2. Can Diabetic Patients Use Baking Soda?
Yes, diabetic patients can also use baking soda. But it is better to check for the sensitivity. Apply in a small area and wait for 24-48 hours. If you do not find any rash, you can continue using it. Never take it orally without consulting your doctor as it could have adverse effects on the stomach.
3. Is Baking Soda Bath Safe When the Rash Is Severe
Yes, it is most advisable to get relief from your symptoms. But you should take a patch test before taking a bath. If you find any aggravation, talk to your doctor immediately for a better diagnosis.
Tips to Avoid Poison Ivy and Oak Rash
Recognize the notorious plants: it is your first precaution. Detect and avoid the toxin plants to be out of contamination with urushiol. You can identify the plants with their clusters of three hairy leaflets with smooth edges. These can be either shrub or vine based on where they grow. According to the season, they can vary in their color as well.
Wear protective clothes: you may have to pay price for ‘exposing your skin’ in your own backyard. Wear long and covering clothes to shield yourself from contacting with the toxin plants. Make sure to wear gloves when you are working in the garden.
Wash, wash and wash: every time you have a leisurely walk in your garden make sure to wash upon return. Rinse your clothes and gardening tools. The creepy toxin can stick to your pets’ fur as well. Give her a shower regularly.
Get rid of poison ivy and oak from your garden: never even think of burning the plants. The smoke can cause serious problems in lungs. Call professionals to remove the treacherous plants from your garden.
Home Remedy for Poison Ivy Rash
My home remedy for poison ivy rash can be made with just two ingredients – plantain leaf and distilled witch hazel astringent. (For a great buy on witch hazel, click here, but note that you do have to purchase 6 bottles). The witch hazel will also contain 14% alcohol as a preservative.
Jewelweed may be added as well, but is an optional ingredient.
If witch hazel grows in your area, you may even make your own witch hazel tonic.
The juice obtained from the hollow stems of jewel weed, preferably spring time, applied and allowed to dry, halts the spread and heals the rash within hours. Try it!! (Jewel weed often grows near the poison ivy and was the treatment used by local Indians)
--"Mary or Ron June" ([email protected]) submitted 15/Dec/2000
Better than Ivy Dry. Go out to where the poison ivy grows and look around for a wild green plant that is tall with yellow or orange flowers, called Jewel Weed . (You can look it up in a plant book). The stems hold a sticky fluid that, when applied to the skin, will dry out the blisters and rash. I cut off a part of the stem, then split it down the middle with a knife. Takes about three days, I apply after 3 hours or so. I used to use Ivy Dry, but now I find that the Jewel Weed is the only product that has worked for me. I haven't tried any of the home remedies on your web site, but I will, since it's pretty late in the season and hard to find a juicy plant out in the wild. Note: I tried to buy a poison ivy cream from a health food store that had the jewel weed in the ingredients, but it spread the rash instead of helping it.
--"Robin Daiell" ([email protected]) submitted 9/Oct/2002
I also use Jewelweed for Posion Ivy as wells as for stinging nettle. The only thing I would like to add is that jewelweed and touch-me-not to me are the same plant. I am not sure about Jewelweed growing near the posion ivy but I know it grows right next to stinging nettle. When they are together we call them "The beauty and the beast".
--"Chaos" ([email protected]) submitted 29/Apr/2003
I was working at a boy scout camp and I had found out that a plant called jewel weed accually helps in the proccess of spreading poison ivy. It also helps in stopping it before it even starts. An example would be when my friend had touched the pionson ivy, he immediently grabbed the jewel weed and spread it over the infected area. It may be hard to find in some areas. I myself prefer some herbs because my personal preference and for what works for me.
--"Sam P." ([email protected]) submitted 19/May/2003
How to make jewelweed for poison ivy ice cubes:
3 large handfuls of jewelweed stems
1 large stock pot (preferrably stainless steel)
- Simply remove the jewelweed leaves from the stems and break to fit the pot.
- Add water to just cover the stems and simmer on low heat, with the pot covered, for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Remove the stems from the infused water. It may be a bit sticky and will be on the brownish side.
- Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid.
- Store in the freezer, in ziplock bags until needed.
To use, simply remove a jewelweed infused cube and rub on affected areas. For best results, apply the jewelweed as soon as you think you may have been exposed to poison ivy, or as soon as the bug bites appear. You can refreeze the leftover cube and reuse as necessary. Apply as often as needed.
To make jewelweed infused oil for soap or salve:
- remove the leaves from the jewelweed stems and break to fit into a glass container
- cover stems with almond, jojoba, olive, or coconut oil (see what oils to use here)
- place container in a 200 oven for 2 hours
- allow to cool and remove stems
- continue with salve or soap recipe
Do you have issues with poison ivy rash? What have you used in the past to help it? Be sure to pin this for later!
Jewelweed Plant Traditional Uses
The Jewelweed plant is best known for its skin soothing properties. The branches contain a gooey liquid like an aloe plant, though it's juice will often turn orange once squeezed from the plant.
The Spotted Orange Jewelweed is most commonly used for treating poison ivy rashes although the Pale Jewelweed may also have medicinal properties. Many people rave about how Jewelweed is helpful, while others say it has no effect on their rashes..
Jewelweed seedlings in April
Read on to learn to make your own Poison Ivy treatment ice cubes with Jewelweed.
An infusion of leaves and the juice from the stem of Jewelweed are used by herbalists for poison ivy, oak and other plant induced rashes, athlete's foot, acne, ringworm and many other types of dermatitis. Jewelweed may help rashes by counter-reacting with the chemicals in other plants that cause irritation, but clinical studies have found some benefits in saponins in the plant.
The scientific proof for Jewelweed is lacking, but many people swear by it. A 1958 study showed that 107 out of 115 people had good results, but newer studies negate the findings. You can search Jewelweed on Facebook to see how many people use it as well as their opinions. I have used it for decades and it works for me, every time. When I wash with Jewelweed soap the same day as exposure, I don't break out and when I get a little breakout, it clears up fast!
How to Use Jewelweed
When you are out in the field and find you have been exposed to poison ivy, oak, or stinging nettle you can reach for the jewelweed plant and slice the stem, then rub its juicy inside on exposed parts. This will usually promptly ease irritation and prevents breakout for most people, though soap is said to be more effective
. Jewelweed or an infusion made from boiling leaves of Impatiens capensis may be frozen for later use. Or use Amazing Jewelweed Soap, Salve and Spray. Many people use Jewelweed Soap to keep rashes from occuring in the first place when used the same day as exposure.Jewelweed usually grows in patches of several plants. It is rarely to find a single plant growing alone.
If you want a DIY Jewelweed remedy for poison ivy, bug bites itchy rashes etc. the easiest way is to use it is to brew chopped jewelweed in boiling water until you get a dark orange liquid. Yellow Jewelweed will not yield orange color and may not be effective. Strain the liquid and pour into ice cube trays. When you have a skin rash, rub it with a jewelweed cube and you will be amazed with its soothing, healing properties. You can also freeze fresh Jewelweed in ziplock bags and save it until you need it. It will keep in freezer up to a year or more.
Jewelweed infusion can be preserved by canning it in a pressure cooker. Jewelweed does not dry well due to its high moisture and oil content. If you make salve from Jewelweed, it is best kept refrigerated for long term storage.
The juice from the Jewelweed plant turns orange when exposed to air. Water preparations of Orange-flowered Jewelweed, as well as soaps made with it, will be orange to brown colored, but oil infusions and salves will be green.
Do not make alcoholic tinctures from Jewelweed because some people have had a bad reaction using jewelweed in alcohol based preparations. More isn't neccesarily better with Jewelweed, and a strong concentrate should be diluted for use on skin, as some people have had reddening of skin with strong concentrations of Jewelweed.
Use my Amazing Jewelweed soap, salve and spray products made from jewelweed that is always fresh, never dried! And they do not contain alcohol which may spread the oils. If they don't work great for you, and clear up rash within a few days contact me for full refund. Disclaimer
More recent studies have identified chemical compounds supporting traditional uses of jewelweed: the identification of COX-2 inhibitory napthoquinone salts supports the use of jewelweed for articular rheumatism, pain, and swelling Oku 2002 and the presence of a testosterone 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor supports its use against male pattern baldnessIshiguro 2000 however, further studies are needed before any conclusions can be drawn. From Drugs.com - Read more about extensive studies for Jewelweed uses.
Clinical Study on Jewelweed Use
This is an older study from 1958. Newer studies report Jewelweed as ineffective. Go figure?
"The Results of a Clinical Study, in which a 1:4 jewelweed preparation was compared for its effectiveness with other standard poison ivy dermatitis treatments was published in 1958 (Annals of Allergy 195816:526-527). Of 115 patients treated with jewelweed, 108 responded "most dramatically to the topical application of this medication and were entirely relieved of their symptoms within 2 or 3 days after the institution of treatment". It was concluded that jewelweed is an excellent substitute for ACTH and the corticosteroids in the treatment of poison ivy dermatitis. The active principle in the plant responsible for this activity remains unidentified."
by Varro Tyler, PhD in his book HERBS OF CHOICE
Author, Photographer: Karen Bergeron Copyright 1999 - 2021
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