If you are an avid outdoorsman, and especially if you are a camper, it is very likely that you have come into contact with the infamous poison ivy plant at one time or another.
You're undoubtedly aware of just how miserable the swelling, the irritation, and, most especially, the incessant itching can make you and, how it can ruin your entire outdoor adventure. But, fear not and venture forth because Mother Nature has a cure for what ails you!
In fact, she has several, but the three most effective and most abundant cures to be found in the wilderness are Burdock tap root, Witch Hazel, and Jewelweed.
First, some prep: poison ivy exudes an oil called Urushoil in order to defend itself from predatory insects (which is what irritates the skin and causes the rash), so the first line of defense is to get to a source of cold water immediately and wash the Urushoil off of your skin.
However, it usually seems that most of us do not realize that we have come into contact with the plant until the rash appears and thus, a different measure is required.
Burdock is a biennial plant common in Asia and England and appears as a flower approximately 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall growing in open fields. When mature, they display round seed pods beneath the flowers covered with small spikes designed to cling to fur or fabric for a free ride.
To use the plant as a cure for poison ivy, dig up several of the tap roots, boil them in water for 20 to 30 minutes, remove the roots, and allow the infusion to cool. Then, soak a cloth in the infusion and apply it to the affected area for five to seven minutes and repeat this process every two hours.
Witch Hazel is another effective natural cure for poison ivy and it is a deciduous shrub or small tree common to North America. To it, harvest either some of the tree's bark or leaves and boil them in water for approximately thirty minutes. Next, remove the bark or leaves and allow the infusion to cool. Then, soak the infusion up with a cloth and apply it to the affected area whenever the rash starts to itch.
Nature's most effective cure for poison ivy is a plant called Jewel Weed and, thanks for Mother Nature's foresight, it usually grows right alongside patches of poison ivy! To use Jewel Weed as a cure, all you have to do is harvest and crush the plant and then spread the resulting juice directly onto the rash five or six times a day for five days.
So, the next time you suffer from poison ivy while enjoying the great outdoors, give one of Mother Nature's natural cures a try.
If you know of any others, or have any comments, share them below.