Summertime funtime outside playtime! It’s always great for your body mind and soul to spend time with nature, but if you’re not careful or aware of your surroundings you could find yourself in an awfully itchy pickle.
Yup. Poison ivy has no qualms about setting boundaries!
A super helpful natural remedy resource for Poison Ivy,
From a wonderful medicine woman Rainee Ford. (https://www.facebook.com/raineeford)
How to happily attend a gathering alongside these plants.
Energetics: Why it’s here, what does it have to teach?
The value of awareness – and the cost of ignorance & inattention.
Poison Ivy has a “Passive” defense that isn’t an open attack. Meaning Sister Ivy doesn’t go out of her way to cause trouble. And, if you step on her, bruise her, or encounter her after shes been mowed, she often lets folks know it!
Science: Urushiol is the oil based sap that is found in Poison Ivy.
It is a persistent pervasive sticky oil that clings to EVERYTHING it encounters. (Including bottoms of shoes. Shoe laces, clothing, pet fur, bases of drums, ect. Be Mindfuland think about all the things that may have touched the ground!!)
As a chemical molecule it ends in an =OH (which is basically an alcohol… and since like dissolves like, (in this case, is changes the structure of the molecule) you can “neutralize” the Urushiol with something as simple as Rubbing Alcohol (also called Isopropyl alcohol)
Sometimes for a looooong time – WASH ANYTHING THAT MAY HAVE COME IN CONTACT WITH THE GROUND DOWN AT THE FIRE (Use 70% or higher Isopropyl alcohol / rubbing alcohol on shoes, bags, belts, and other non washing machine things. For cloths and ground blankets, Use HOT water and soap with surfactant (I use Simple Green) in the laundry.)
Urishiol as a chemical molecule ends in an OH. (In layman’s terms that means if you put alcohol on it, it changed its chemical nature. Meaning it will no longer spread.
Though next you need to get it off still!!!!
The quicker you do, the less gets absorbed by your skin.
Heat, sweating and itching may cause the reaction to keep presenting through the skin until the bodily stops reacting. (Which can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks, depending on how sensitive you are).
Most important is to wash ANYTHING that may have come in contact with alcohol and abrasive OR Hot Soapy water. This includes,walking sticks, bottoms of shoes, bags that may have been set down, ect.
Cultivating Awareness: Learn and be aware of how it looks, where it grows in proximity of your places of existing and traveling during the event. How I work with it, is when I arrive in a place that has poison Ivy, I immediately begin to consider the bottoms of shoes, hems of pants/dressed/skirts and any bags I may put down to be “Hot” and treat them accordingly → Never put them on your bed where you sleep, leave them outside your tent or home space, don’t set bags on laps, be mindful of hugging or touching others, ask if they have washed recently, wash after every contact, be mindful of things like touching your face after having your hands on the ground or petting a dog, Always. Leave. Shoes. Outside. WEAR SHOES. If you NEED contact with the ground to do your work, wash immediately afterwards. (some people react within a half hour, others react 6-12 hours later.) YES, its alot of thinking…. Remember, Sister Ivy is teaching us about MAINTAINING Boundaries – which requires mindfulness. Embrace this lesson, DO THE WORK and the struggle will ease. If you don’t, it may persist for some, for months….. Recontact is a big thing. Urushiol does not lose its ability to cause trouble, even after time. It MUST be neutralized.
Poison Ivy Self-Care Natural Remedy
#1: Wash WELL!! Use: Tecnu (specific poison ivy soap), OR Simple Green. OR Rubbing alcohol & salt OR sand AND Dish Soap.
-ROUGH ABRASION is necessary to remove this sap.
-Bag contaminated clothing separately and wash with hot water and plenty of detergent before using again.
-Place any cleaning cloths used to wash yourself, in a separate bag and DO NOT re-use until they have been washed.
#2: Treatment Suggestions: If you have a rash that is developing, with or without blisters,
WASH FIRST, THEN use any of the following in any combination that brings relief:
- Calamine lotion
- Itch Wash
- Jewelweed plant
- Baking soda poultice
- Lavender / Peppermint / Tea Tree Essential oil
- Rhus Tox 30c Homeopathic remedy (First 3 doses every 20 minutes, then 3 times a day until it begins to clear.) if Rhys doesn’t work, move to Apis.
#3: Prevent the Spread!!! These are all ways to spread Urushiol:
-BE CAREFUL HUGGING PEOPLE!! This is a GOOD way to spread this not so fun experience to loved ones.
-Beware that animals/pets can carry Urushiol on their fur after having walked through it. (this can pass to people who pet them) Pets need a good washing post festival.
-Caution with walking through areas containing poison ivy and then walking into your tent with shoes on. (leave your shoes outside your sleeping space and wash your feet before bed if you love being barefooted.
-Scrub under your nails to prevent spreading the oil after itching the skin that has a rash.
-Wear protective clothing. Tops of bare feet are the most susceptible! Wear tall socks in lieu of shoes if you must.
-if you must go barefoot, wash every evening!!! (see above method of washing FOR poison ivy)