Poison Ivy
Natural Remedies

9 Natural Poison Ivy Remedies

| Modified on Mar 18, 2024
Posted by MF (NJ) on 03/18/2024

I just caught some poison ivy from yard work and the rashes matted my entire arms and neck. It was miserable. Steroids were barely helping and the rash kept spreading, even after scrubbing the oils away. Someone on Quora posted their bleach remedy, which I tried. The results were unbelievable. It basically stopped the itch for the whole day and I did it once again before bedtime so I could sleep. It also quickly started the healing/drying process, where previously it seemed like there was no end in sight. Here is the remedy: -get a bowl or cup and fill with 1 part bleach and 10 parts water. Bring it in your shower with you. I used a bowl to make a large mixture because my rash was so widespread. -Get in the shower with the hottest water you can stand, and let it hit all of the rash for a minute (feels good) -take a washcloth and scrub all your rashes HARD. Get them as raw as possible. -turn the water off. Pour the bleach mix all over your rashes and let it sting/burn for a couple minutes. -turn the shower back on and rinse off quickly.

Posted by Steve (Germantown, OH) on 06/06/2023

I had a really bad case of poison ivy. I looked at Earth-Clinic for remedies and read that people had success with Jewelweed. I had never heard of it before. I ordered some and it is truly amazing. I put it directly on the rash 2-3 times a day. I notices some improvement the next day and every day thereafter. The itch was greatly reduced first then the rash started drying up and going away. By day 3 there was noticeable improvement.

Posted by Cheryl (Highland Park, NJ) on 05/27/2023 10 posts

As a child I was highly susceptible to poison ivy. Even a breeze from a patch would get my little skin itching. So I was immunized by taking a series of poison ivy drops - the old natural way, no chemicals. This immunization seemed to last for about 20 years with no recurrences of p.i.

Then, in my late 20s while staying at a summer cabin in the woods, I came back from a walk one day to feel an itchy patch on my leg. Uh oh. So I quick went into the shower to wash off any oil before it got spread any farther.

The warm water felt so good, that I increased the heat and focused the water jet on that part of my leg for several seconds. Ahhh. Since that worked, I increased the heat some more. Ohhh, ahhh, even better. It felt like I was scratching it without scratching it.

I got the temp as hot as I could stand it, when the thought entered my head to blast it with cold. So I did. I let the icy cold water run on it for several seconds. Feeling relief and no more itching, I dried off, got dressed and went about the rest of the day.

A good 12 hours passed before I felt a little itching starting up again. So I did the warm-hot-hot water followed by a cold blast again. Another 12 hours without itching. This is great! Even better, I noticed that the patch that had been reddish was turning brownish.

It may have flared up slightly one or two more times before it totally disappeared as a brownish color in the skin, but it never spread and it never itched again. It just kind of faded away.

Of course, you would want to do this water therapy with a cloth if the rash is on your face or neck; but anywhere else on the body, with the shower head pointing at the spot, heat will do the trick. The best part? It only takes a few minutes and - it's free!

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Maria R. (Knoxville, TN) on 04/01/2023

ACTIVATED Charcoal for bites, poison ivy and wound infection

My husband worked in the forest building trails and came back with what looked like poison ivy. He treated both legs with an ointment. One leg was remedied, the other leg stayed red for two weeks and started becoming hot to the touch. We knew that it meant he had systemic infection so I made him a poultice of Activated Charcoal, rice flour (for thickening, you can use arrow root or corn starch), and castor oil. I spread it on his wound and put a gauze over poultice and a plastic wrap over the gauze. I then wrapped the entire would around the thigh in an Ace Bandage. He did this for four days, making sure he removed the bandage in the shower as the AC is VERY messy. We replaced with new gauze each day for four days. I used an activated charcoal for whitening teeth found at Bed, Bath and Beyond!

On top of this I had him do four days of taking activated charcoal internally by capsule, found on Amazon.

Day 1 he took only 2 capsules in morning and two in evening with lots of water.

Day 2 he did the same.

Day 3 he took 1 capsule every hour all day long.

Day 4 he took 1 capsule every hour all day long.

Day 5 all was clear - accept for a VERY dry thigh, (which we rubbed Coconut oil into until dryness was gone)

All the heat and redness was gone!

Green Tomato
Posted by Grace (Portland, OR) on 11/14/2022

Hi Carolyn, I see this is a really old post, but in case you or someone else sees this, I'm wondering about eating green tomatoes that aren't just not yet ripe, but underdeveloped. In my enthusiasm for not wasting any of the small hard green underdeveloped tomatoes in the face of frost, I took them all inside and just made a stir fry with them. Then I started worrying--they are nightshades, after all. Do you know if it's ok to eat them in that state, and if not, is there something to counter the toxicity? Foolishly, Grace

Grapefruit Seed Extract
Posted by Esther (GA) on 05/20/2022

Sorry, just seeing your question. I took GSE twice daily, 10 drops in water or in an empty capsule. (IF you take in a capsule, be sure to drink a big glass of water with it.) You can also mix with water and dab on the area twice daily.

Nettle Leaf
Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 03/08/2022

It's March and time for us to begin our annual war against poison ivy.

My son got a rash from it clearing brush. I heard him in the supplement cabinet a few days later and realized he was getting the nettle. At 16 he has his preferred remedy for mild poison ivy. He pops 4 nettle capsules a couple of times a day. He also puts colloidal silver gel on the rash.

My daughter's husband does tree work on the side. He does not get poison ivy but was in contact with huge amounts of it one day last week. That evening he had a black mark on his arm. We were all puzzled. He learned later that it was "black spot poison ivy." Basically, a chemical burn from the poison in the plant. He is not allergic and didn't react with a rash, but he did get a burn (It did not hurt or itch). Unfortunately, probably from dealing with his work clothes, my daughter got poison ivy. She did use some zanfel on it and a salve I make. But, like my son, she has found that nettle is what gives her relief from the itch the most. She says when it feels itchy she knows she is due for some nettle. She is taking 2 capsules four times a day. She is also nursing a 5 month old and nettle is safe for nursing. I told her today that I think double what she is currently taking would be fine, too.

An older son who used to get severe poison ivy rashes also struggled with asthma. I had him taking 2 nettle twice a day for a year for his asthma. I think the nettle healed the asthma, and he also doesn't react to poison ivy like he used to anymore.

Nettle leaf capsules are inexpensive, great for allergies, poison ivy, hives, and lots of other stuff. I always keep lots on hand. Nature's Way or Now brand are my favorites.

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Steven (LA) on 01/20/2022

Even if it works for you, that is not proving anything. What works for some people does not necessarily work for others, and in the face of people becoming deathly ill from doing this, the mom is unequivocally RIGHT for not experimenting/trying this on her son.

Go try it on your kids (which you definitely do not have, because if you did, you'd never advise anyone else to do this with such naive sureness) but don't tell someone else to do it.

Orange Juice, Dolomite
Posted by Woodmaker (Mondovi, WI) on 11/24/2021

This is a remedy for poison ivy. I had a very bad case of poison ivy, for weeks. It was so bad that if I shaved I would get a line of welts along where the razor shaved my beard. I still have the scars on my fingers from where it was healed. I had met a logger from Virginia and he gave me this remedy.

Drink a glass of orange juice and drink a glass of about 1 tablespoon of dolomite dissolved in water. He told me to pop my blisters and that I would be fine in the morning. I was. He said they always drank this in the morning and then handled poison ivy (as a logger) all day and were fine. I have since shared this with two other people with bad poison ivy who have recovered as dramatically as I did.

Posted by Cindy (Illinois, USA) on 07/26/2021 443 posts

That's one of the things about DMSO. ClO2 and ozone both destroy toxins but DMSO doesn't. BUT, it will open all of the pathways to get it out of your system quicker. That said, I can't find much info on colloidal silver's effect on toxins. I've seen some remarks made about venom, which is a toxin, as opposed to living microbes, and that it has helped in the instances referenced but...I just can't find much on the topic.

I DID find a connection between venom, colloidal silver and lipids though. So, maybe that's how toxins get handled, if that's a part of their repertoire - an effect on lipids which may be what makes toxins toxic in the first place...I don't know. But it's interesting so I expect my explorations will take me down that path...

Anyway, I've only had poison ivy once, years ago, and the only thing that helped was its homeopathic remedy, Rhus-Tox.

Dishwashing Liquid, Lemon Juice
Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 07/26/2021

Dishwashing Liquid and Lemon juice to Heal Poison Ivy

30 years ago, I was helping a man paint his farmhouse that was covered with untrimmed bushes and poison ivy (PI). I am very allergic to PI and always broke out in a rash. I had to move ladders up close to the house to paint up high and of course, got in to PI.

The guy I was working for told me to go to the kitchen and get the dishing soap by the sink. We walked over to the water hose next to the house and he told me to get both my arms and legs wet, pour some dish soap on my hands and soap up all the exposed skin just like a surgeon before surgery. By doing this, the soap removes the invisible plant oil “urushiol” from your skin that causes the rash. If you do this within 6 hours after exposure to PI, you will never breakout.

He also told me that when I got home to put all the clothes I was wearing that day into the washing machine with HOT water. This will remove the oil from your clothes.

Now, if you happen to miss a spot or did not wash your skin very good and you do get a rash. Get into a hot shower with dish soap and repeat the process. Also, applying fresh lemon juice to the rash will help to heal the rash a lot.

By following these protocols for the past 30 years, I have not had a serious outbreak of PI since!

Good video on the subject: How to never have a serious poison ivy rash again


Posted by Jill C. (Huntsville, AL) on 07/25/2021

I just got a spot of Poison Ivy on my forearm and it's driving me crazy itching! I have tried the DMSO and it's doing nothing. I tried the baking soda and vinegar, nothing. Guess I"ll try the fels naptha next..... UGH~!

Ice Water
Posted by Garret (Westpoint, TN) on 03/28/2021

This is the only thing that worked me. I was not able to put my arm in ice water for a full 2 minutes, I felt my arm about to pop off after 30 seconds, so I just did the dunk multiple times and this Ice water trick worked beautifully.

After 2 or 3 days the poison Ivy was gone. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Posted by Rebecca (Massachusetts ) on 01/09/2020

The laundry soap bar, called Fels Naptha...hands down, the best cure for poison ivy. Wet the spot and soap it, let dry...don't rinse! It will dry out immediately!

Ionic Zinc
Posted by Suzy (Indiana) on 09/07/2019

Last summer I had a long and nasty outbreak of poison ivy.

This past July I got it again though in 66 years I've only had it twice. Looking for relief, I remembered zinc in pill form clears up my granddaughter's eczema. I had a bottle of ionic zinc and knowing it is good for skin I decided to see if it would offer some relief from the blistering and itch. Ionic zinc is a liquid. Mine came in a blue bottle with a dropper. I put a bit on every tingle, pimple and start of an outbreak.

I immediately had what felt like an electrical charge or tiny pin pricks. It was a bit overwhelming at first and I wondered if it was a very smart idea but the sensation eased and in a short time blisters appeared. Poison ivy takes days to blister and you aren't on your way to healing until your skin is a full blown mess. What got me to apply the ionic zinc again that evening was the fact that once I applied the zinc the itching stopped.

I applied it morning and night, a small amount. It is like water with a bit of oil, you need to shake the bottle and pump the dropper so you have the mixed ionic zinc in the dropper. I don't know the science behind it but I know it worked. If you've had poison ivy you know how long it takes to surface, blister, weep and finally start to go away. The ionic zinc got rid of all of it within a week, full cycle, start to finish. It surfaced, dried up and went away with no itch.

The only side effect I experienced was that the skin on my arms, after the poison ivy healed, was wrinkly and very dry.

I probably could have been more careful applying the zinc only to the poison ivy, maybe have used a q-tip. I put coconut oil on the dry patches and used a soft skin brush when I bathed. After a few days my skin was back to normal. Ionic zinc worked for me. Last year it took me three weeks to just get feeling ok with the poison ivy starting to clear.

I'm hoping this might help someone else get relief. Take care and stay smart.

Aloe Vera
Posted by Gloria G. (United States) on 08/09/2019

I got poison ivy rash four days ago, I tried everything earthclinic suggest and nothing worked, last night out of desperation and seeing this watery sticky fluid coming out of the rash I put some baby powder on the rash (left arm) and voila!

My arm got colder and the powder absorbed the sticky fluid, I was relieved. I did several times today and I was happy. This afternoon however I was uneasy, my arm was hotter and the itching was stronger so I went to my backyard where I have Aloe Vera plants, I got one leave and peeled it on one side and rubbed it against my arm (gelatin against my skin) and the effect was immediate, the arm was colder, the itching and the sticky fluid stopped, and in a matter of minutes inflammation started to go down. That was an hour ago and my arm is feeling well. I know I need more time to get the final result but the difference is already amazing, inflammation is already like 30% better! I'm going to repeat this at least twice more before gong to bed hoping tomorrow I will be cured! Amazing stuff!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by DK Clausman (United States) on 07/09/2019

Poison Ivy Rash Around the Eyes

How you may ask. Well we have an outside cat who when inside likes to jump on my lap when watching TV. I rub my eyes unawares at the time that the cat has been though the stuff. Waking up in the morning with one eye nearly swollen shut…bummer. My wife swears by the All Terrain Poison Ivy/Oak Bar.

I washed with cold water and allow the lather to remain on the affected area for 1-2 minutes, or as long as I could stand before it began to seep in my eyes. I felt immediate relief after using the soap and the washed area is squeaky clean.

Using ACV via dabbing with a cotton ball provided some longer term relief from future itch.

I diluted the ACV 1:1 with water as full strength burns the sensitive skin on the face. The swelling went down the same day and I can see out of the swollen eye. To address the dry, scabbing skin around my eyes, I applied a controlled and careful amount of Desitin Skin Protectant. The itch is gone though I still have some discoloration a few days later.

Hot Water
Posted by Michele (Chicago, IL) on 06/20/2019

I am completely amazed that hot water relieved my poison ivy! Thank you earth clinic peeps! If I just glance sideways at poison ivy I will break out, so recently I had it on my hands and forearms, I pulled up my Dr. Earth Clinic and went searching. When I read about the hot water remedy I thought “what have I got to loose”? I ran the faucet over my arms and hands, hot as I could, being careful not to burn myself and believe me - they itch to high heaven when this is going on but then it slowly dissipates. Afterward they did not itch for over 8 hours! I promptly did it again and it was almost 16 hours this time. Each time the effect lasted longer, I'd say all total I might have done it 7 times. my skin is rather dry and flaky but that's a small price to pay for relief!

Posted by Katydid (TX) on 05/03/2019

This wasn't as easy as Bobby made it sound, but it did work for me too.

I tried putting salt on the latest bout of poison ivy. I wet my skin, added salt and waited ten minutes, but it didn't sting.....and didn't work at all. But then I thought, what if it has to be stinging to work? So I scrubbed the poison ivy bumps until I had flat skin. Then, because that probably released all that oil to go elsewhere, I scrubbed with Goop (no water, just goop), then took it off with paper towels. THEN I wet my skin and put salt on. Yea, that stings. I didn't bother with olive oil, since I had raw skin. I put antibiotic ointment on it; any over the counter cheap brand will do.

But the salt worked, which was amazing since I've never been able to get Goop alone to do anything. Let the salt sit on there the full ten minutes. I had large and small patches to do, and it works best on the ones you catch early. It works on older ones as well, but there is more scrubbing involved and this method may scar. I would NOT use this on children; the ice water method kills the itch for hours and doesn't hurt. For me the salt method didn't just kill the itch for hours, it eliminated it for good. The roughed up skin healed in a few days, and ta-da, no more poison ivy! But I may have a scar on my ankle where the worst of the ivy was. I personally don't care, it was worth it not to suffer PI for a few weeks. But something to consider if you're going to try this.

Posted by Bobbie Hill (Rowlett, Tx) on 03/01/2019

This remedy hurts but it kills poison ivy within hours.

My husband got into some poison ivy while cleaning out weeds on a cyclone fence and was covered with poison ivy. He came home in pain and itching very badly. I was told about the remedy and tried it on him. I had him to wet his arms and then I put table salt on them and he could only take letting it stay on about ten minutes and then washed it off. The salt dried up the bumps and calmed the itch and within a hour, for him, everything had stopped. I put Olive oil on his arms to moisturize his skin because it was very dry and he had no problems with it again. I also treated three boys the same way with the same results.

Ice Water
Posted by Katydid (TX) on 02/28/2019

Thank you for the ice water suggestion! I've tried many things for poison ivy and this is now my absolute favorite. Nothing else has stopped the itch immediately. THANK YOU! Side note; no way would I be able to stand ice water for two minutes. So that probably should vary person to person. For me somewhere around 45 seconds to a minute was good enough to keep the itch at bay for a few hours. And the swelling went down and has stayed down.

Ice Water
Posted by William (Texas) on 02/12/2019

I have had poison ivy many times in my life!! My "go to" remedy is ALWAYS "ICE WATER". Why? Because it is instantaneous relief from misery. 100% relief in a split second! Just leave your hand, arm, feet,... in the icy water for about one minute or two full minutes.

The relief is immediate and lasts for two to ten hours (depending upon how severe your poison ivy reaction is). Repeat as many times the first day as needed. The second day you won't need many.

By the third day you are almost home. WHY does it work? Heat is a catalyst for ALL biological reactions. Heat speeds up biological reactions. Heat is required for all biological reactions including poison ivy. When you put your hand/arm in ice water (approx. 33 deg F), the ice draws the HEAT out of the area with poison ivy. Essentially, shutting the poison ivy reaction down and giving your skin time to heal. HOW I do it: Just say I have a poison ivy outbreak on my forearm. I take a large ice chest. Fill it with water up to about 4 inches from the top. Then put in a full bag of ice. Maybe two bags. S

wish the ice around with your hand. If all the ice melts, then you should add another bag. When ready, I just submerge my entire forearm into the ice water. I like to leave my arm in the ice water for at least a full minute. Two full minutes is better. I had a friend who once had poison ivy on almost all areas of his body. He took quick baths in the bath tub in ice water. It worked and in 3 days he was done. That's it. Works 100% of the time. William Note that heat is a catalyst for chemical, bacterial, and biological reactions.