How to Treat Poison Ivy

Homesteading:  A weekly account of our journey to becoming off grid homesteaders.  Our path will be long as we are only paying in cash and our funds are very limited.  Mike and I have no idea what we're doing so we'll be learning as we go.  I know we'll make mistakes and that's ok.  It's all part of the process.  

We would love to read about your homesteading experiences, so if you'd like to share your favorite resources, tips, funny stories, recipes, books, website or even just a photo from the week, please leave a link in the comments.

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That is one beautiful hillside, perfect for tree forts and a rock stair case, and.... poison ivy.  I thought we had done our best to identify the leaves and avoid them at all costs, but not this time.  All of us have broke out in the rash.  Mike and I have the worst of it.  Head to toe oozing, insane itching, the works.  It's been a long week and I'm still seeing new spots every day.  

First we went to the river banks for our tried and true remedy, jewelweed, but it's too late in the season and the plants were all woody.  Next we went to Facebook and asked around to see what our customers and friends could recommend. 

 Here's the list we ended up with:

* Calamine lotion (which really helped the best with oozing)

* Jewelweed salve (We made some earlier in the year with beeswax and coconut oil; best smelling, but didn't help much as the jewelweed needs to be fresh to get the most benefit.)

* Oatmeal bath to sooth the skin (I didn't help at all, except for a half hour alone to soak in the tub.)

* Tea tree oil 

* Burt's Bees Rescue Ointment

*  Colgate octagon soap

* Benadryl (In a last desperate attempt to get some sleep I took one, and it worked great.  I wasn't up all night itching.)

* Rubbing alcohol

* Baking soda and water paste

* Zanfel (Very expensive and too many ingredients I can't pronounce!  I went and looked them up. YIKES!)

* Bleach (I DO NOT recommend this, but it was suggested.)

* A trip to the doctor for steroids.

If you've had poison ivy, I'd love to hear what worked for you!  Also, any tips on eliminating the plant from our hillside would be great too.

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