This all natural poison ivy remedy will kick the itch!

Nothing quite challenges our sanity like the relentless itching of a rash from poison ivy, oak, or sumac. I was cursed twice last month! Blistering weeping rashes both times. This poison ivy remedy not only kicked those blisters in record time (about 3-4 days), it was the only recipe that gave me relief for hours. Enjoy!

Bentonite Clay, Essential Oils, and Apple Cider Vinegar.

By: Jasmin@Rootcha

Why are these ingredients so effective at vanquishing the evils of itch, blister, and did we mention…itch?

First off, this remedy is way more effective than calamine lotion at extracting the offending oils that have absorbed into our poor skin. Secondly, it is packed with awesome beneficial plant compounds that help relieve the itch and pain. To top it all off, these compounds help speed up healing, and—wham-bam:  fight off infection. Read on for an in-depth breakdown of ingredients inside this ultra-effective poison ivy remedy.

BENTONITE CLAY, ESSENTIAL OILS, AND APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Three different plants, and a similar rash. Poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak, are all out to get you with the same long-lasting, sticky oil: urushiol.

Urushiol is what causes a rash to show up usually within 24-72 hours of contact. The rash can last up to three weeks, but has usually lost most of it’s bite after about a week.

Bentonite Clay & Apple Cider Vinegar

Bentonite clay, also called Montmorillonite clay, is derived from volcanic ash and has been used for centuries to detoxify and heal the body.

Bentonite clay in this poison ivy remedy, is what is going to help draw out that skin-offending urushiol.

When combined with a liquid like water or apple cider vinegar, bentonite clay; applied topically, acts as a potent antibiotic and will bind to both toxins and bacteria within pores and extract them. This clay has also been found to accelerate wound healing, which is a major bonus if you’re dealing with blisters.  50-51

We pair bentonite clay with apple cider vinegar in this recipe for two reasons.

  1. If you pair bentonite clay with water, it’s going result in a lumpy mess. Apple cider vinegar will leave you with a nice smooth paste.
  2. We’re trying to soothe our tortured skin. Bentonite clay by itself is a little too basic for our skin. Apple cider vinegar on the other hand, is too acidic. But together… we have harmony. Smooth pasty harmony. To give you true poison ivy relief.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – PH between 2.8-3.5
  • Bentonite Clay – PH between 8.3-9.1
  • Mixed Together – PH closer to 5 (Happy Skin Zone).
Bentonite clay powder and a wood spoon
Bentonite clay mixed in a bowl

Make sure you use a wooden spoon!

Opposites attact!  Heavy metals, and many toxins contain excess ions and are essentially “positively charged”.

Bentonite clay naturally contains “negatively charged” molecules and because of this binds to those metals and toxins.

Once they are bound, these toxins are extracted.  Using a wooden spoon keeps the bentonite clay from binding to the metals in your spoon!

Essential Oils

Even without these essential oils, this recipe kicks the itch. But if you do happen to have any of these oils in your arsenal: they do a lot more than replace the “sweaty-foot” odor from the apple cider vinegar.

Peppermint Oil

Weeping itchy blisters and our irresistible urge to scratch them, can leave us open to the elements.

Peppermint oil comes to our defense here by acting as a natural antibiotic, and has been found to be effective against even antibiotic resistant MRSA. The menthol in peppermint oil also acts as an anti-fungal.

Now let’s talk about what we’re really looking for in a poison ivy remedy–relief! Peppermint oil delivers that cool relief as it’s an effective pain reliever when applied topically.   1-16

Peppermint oil, Tea tree oil, and lavender oil, essential oils

Peppermint Oil

Active Compounds:

  • Menthol (35-70%)
  • Menthone (25-30%),
  • Menthyl acetate (4-14%).
Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is packed with beneficial plant chemicals called terpinoids.  Fun fact, these are also the compounds that lend essential oils their potent fragrance!

Good guy tea tree oil, should help your skin calm down with a little anti-inflammatory love. One study found it significantly reduced histamine-induced skin inflammation in as little as ten minutes.

What is histamine? What does it have to do with my poison ivy rash?

As it just so happens: rashes, acne, and most inflammatory reactions on the skin caused by foriegn bodies usually fall under the umbrella of  “histamine-induced skin inflammation.”

Back on the bacteria battleground, Tea tree oil, and it’s primary terpinoid: terpinen-4-ol, have both been found to put a hurtin’ on  a variety of harmful bacteria including the dreaded antibiotic-resistant MRSA.  17-31

Tea Tree Oil

Active Compounds:

  • Terpinen-4-ol
  • 1,8-cineol
  • alpha-terpineol
  • terpinolene
  • alpha-terpinene
  • gamma-terpinine
poison ivy on hands and between fingers
Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is the name, and soothing relaxation is it’s game.

But, it’s not only a relaxation enabler. The powerful plant compounds in this essential oil also act as pain killers and antibiotics.   Lavender oil might also speed up the healing process, while reducing inflammation. 33-49

Lavender Oil

Active Compounds:

  • cineole
  • borneol
  • camphor
  • linalool
  • perillyl alcohol
With introductions made, and powers of healing revealed, let’s get to business and show you how to make this all natural poison ivy remedy at home.
IMPORTANT NOTE:

Some people (roughly 2%) can experience allergic reactions to plant compounds in tea tree oil. If you have ever experienced any allergic reaction to tea tree oil in the past, or a product that contained tea tree oil DO NOT ADD. 32

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp bentonite clay
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 drops essential peppermint oil
  • 2 drops essential lavender oil
  • 2 drops essential tea tree oil
  1. Mix the dry clay and vinegar together in a ceramic or wooden bowl, using a wooden spoon.
  2. Add essential oils if available and mix well. Mixture should be around the consistency of greek yogurt. See picture below.
  3. Apply to affected area, avoiding eyes.
  4. The mask should be dry in about 10-20 minutes. Once it is dry you can wash it off with warm water, or leave it on. I like to remove all the chunks (carefully), and leave the dry non-flaky residue on to keep on fighting the good fight. If you’d like to wash it off, make sure to carefully pat the rash dry, as rubbing the rash against a towel may cause it to itch again. You can apply this poison ivy remedy 2-3 times a day.
  5. Enjoy! Please share if this helped you! We would also love to hear your natural remedies for poison ivy!

For a better night’s sleep…

Try a watered down version of this mask before bed, leaving it on overnight. The goal is to get it thin enough that it won’t flake of when it dries.  It always flakes a little anyway, but the sleep is  worth it.

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