Natural Remedy for Poison Ivy

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)

Poison Ivy

How to happily attend a gathering alongside these plants.

Energetics: Why it’s here, what does it have to teach?

Boundaries:
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)

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Natural Preservatives for Cosmetic Recipes

Essential Oils for the Different Types of SkinWhen I first started making cosmetic products, i.e. lotions, lip balms, sprays, scrubs, etc., I was very hesitant , in the beginning, on which ingredients to use that were all natural and yet effective for preserving all my hard work from going rancid.

Making your own natural cosmetics allows you to control the ingredients and produce recipes created specifically for you. The downside to this is that natural ingredients tend to have a limited shelf life. Learning what ingredients are natural preservatives, and how to use them, will prevent rancidity and anti-oxidation in your homemade cosmetics.

But really, when it comes down to it, if you’re not going to use it up in about a week, then you need more than just a  “natural” preservative.

The following is from: Review of 27 preservatives at makingskincare.com, –be sure to read it in it’s entirety for excellent preservative advice. Here’s a snippet:

GLYCERIN / ALCOHOL / HONEY / GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT AS PRESERVATIVE??

–          Glycerin is a very effective preservative – in medicine, you will frequently find glycerites as a delivery vehicle (especially in children’s and herbal medicine) where the active component is preserved and then ultimately delivered in a water soluble solvent (glycerin) as an alternative delivery mechanism to alcohol. To be effective as a preservative, you need to have AT LEAST a 50% glycerin content in your formula, and it is best if it is about 60-70%.  The downside is glycerin is very, very sticky – not a great skin feel.

–          Ethanol (not vodka, instead use 190 Everclear alcohol or skin safe cosmetic use denatured alcohol) anything containing 20-25% ethanol  is self preserving.  Alcohol is astringent so not a great add if you want a moisturising lotion.  It is also a known irritant so if you have sensitive skin, a lotion containing alcohol could sting! You might see it in a lotion with alcohol as a cooling foot lotion as it will evaporate from your  skin. However note, you might see Ostwalt Ripening in an O/W emulsion resulting in flocculation and ethanol can diminish foaming of surfactant-based products like shampoo.

–          Honey – not advisable – see http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/honey-few-studies-ive-found-about-its.html

–          Grapefruit Seed Extract,(not recommended).  GSE is not what you would consider to be a regular extract.  Citrus seed extracts are not all-natural – they are chemically derived from the seeds of citrus fruits.  It is made IIRC by reacting with ammonia, so is more like a quat in some ways. There are concerns that the limited preservative properties GSE does have are in fact due to added preservatives like parabens – see http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/preservatives-grapefruit-seed-extract.html

After my many years of working with all types and lots of research, here is a list of helpful and useful natural ingredients that are safe to use for preserving your cosmetic recipes as long as you’re using it up within about a week as well as snippets from around the web that may answer your questions:

Here’s a list of some natural inhibitors / preservatives :essential oil

Benzoin Resin (also called Styrax) is a less well known preservative and fixative. For centuries, it has been an important ingredient in the making of incense due to its fixative qualities. Benzoin has a rich sweet scent that is quite distinctive. Because it is easily absorbed through the skin, it should be diluted in alcohol before use in cosmetic recipes. Benzoin resin is often found in facial toning and facial oil recipes to improve their shelf life.

Borax is a common ingredient that used to be found on the laundry shelf of most grocery stores. It is a natural cleaner and preservative, and it often found in lotion, cream, bath salt and bath scrub recipes.

Honey is a marvelous natural inhibitor. One teaspoon to one tablespoon of honey can be added to most any natural cosmetic recipe to improve its shelf life. My personal facial elixir has honey as an essential component, but I also add it to salts, scrubs, facials, creams and lotions.

Jojoba is one of my favorite natural inhibitor because, like honey, it is just so very versatile. Jojoba is often combined with those oils that are known for having a limited shelf life, such as almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and rosehip seed oil. Get in the habit of substituting a tablespoon of jojoba oil for the more fragile carrier oils to improve the shelf life of your home made creations.

Vitamin E Oil is another natural inhibitor that I use quite often. If you are making a preparation for the skin, add a teaspoon of vitamin E oil to prevent rancidity and as an anti-oxidant. Vitamin E oil has the additional benefit of being safe to use for recipes for babies and small children.

When creating my own cosmetic recipes, I tend to use a two-pronged approach. Benzoin and vitamin E in a facial oil, for instance, or jojoba and borax in a lotion. Incorporating these natural preservatives in your own creations will enhance your cosmetics making repertoire considerably.

great place to find information about “green formulating”

Carlos
Submitted on 2013/08/25 at 3:55 pm

I think your blog is fantastic. I’m starting a natural skincare company and am using mostly butter and creams (no water or milk). I understand that I don’t need to put preservatives in these formulations. However, I would like to add something that inhibits bacterial as least a little. I am thinking of standardly adding vitamin E to all the butters and creams. Later on we will get into some formulations that use distilled water.Can you give me a little more information on the following? A friend sent them to me after attending one of her work workshops on lotion making: Dermofeel 688 INCI: p-Anisic Acid and Glyceryl Caprylate (and) Glyceryl Undecylenate. Also, the natural preservative mixtures that you mentioned, can I get them already mixed? If I can get them already mixed, what percentage should they be of my formulation?

Candice Collins
Submitted on 2013/09/16 at 5:24 pm | In reply to Carlos.

I found this mixture of ingredients here; http://www.kinetiktech.com/materials/index.php. and here’s a link to a great .pdf about making your own natural “green” formulations; http://www.kinetiktech.com/docs/GreenGuide-latest.pdf . hope that helps :)

“To avoid parabens, Jason Natural Cosmetics has switched from methylparaben to a natural preservative that has the same shelf life–2-3 years–as the paraben-based preservative. In January 2003, for its Shaman Earthly Organics line, Jason debuted a preservative that consists of sodium benzoate (salt crystals), potassium sorbate (powder from mountain ash trees combined with potassium salt) and grapefruit-seed extract. “Now our preservative systems are food grade, which adds to the purity level of our products,” Light says.

Aubrey Organics solved the preservative puzzle with a mixture of grapefruit-seed extract and vitamins A, C and E, which inhibits micro-bacterial growth and helps retard the ingredients’ decay. All of the company’s 250 personal care products are made with this natural preservative, says Aubrey representative Sandie Coretti, and have shelf lives of 18 months to 3 years–considerably shorter than products made with synthetic preservatives, which can last 5-8 years, Coretti says.

The Obsessively Organic line by Kiss My Face uses a blend of all-natural preservatives, Byckiewicz says. This blend assures the products have a shelf life of up to 2 years.

As companies seek alternatives to synthetic preservatives, the industry as a whole is moving forward on issues that are just as challenging. What OCA. OTA and virtually everybody else in the industry agrees on is that the higher the level of organic ingredients in a personal care product, the safer it is for the consumer. How quickly they can agree on standards that they can support is another matter. Until then, consumers will have to educate themselves about label claims–and rely on their scruples…..

see more info below:
thanks so much to:  http://eroscent.com/blog/resources-and-guides/natural-preservatives-for-your-cosmetic-recipes/   fabulous and very useful tips! They match many of my own findings.

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