Poison Ivy
Natural Remedies

9 Natural Poison Ivy Remedies


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Bob (USA) on 05/10/2015

I was digging in the yard and got a really bad case of poison ivy. It was all over my arms, legs , hands and chest. I was scratching myself to death-couldn't sleep and absolutely could not get any relief. A friend of mine's dad was in Viet Nam and he said when they would come back from a mission in the jungle the men would have all kinds of rashes and fungus on them from coming into contact with local vegetation. They used ordinary household laundry bleach to cure the rashes.. At that point I would have tried anything to get some relief from the itching. I put some on a paper towel and wiped it on the affected areas.---no burning, no skin reaction to the bleach. It stopped the rash and the itching almost immediately. It was incredible. It really worked. I was amazed. Thanks----------Bob

Breast Milk

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Tuli (Redding, Ca) on 07/02/2015

If you are lucky enough to get poison ivy while still breastfeeding like I was, your milk will help the itch! I had an outbreak on my arm and tried many things, then I remembered that breast milk is good for all kinds of things. So when it would itch I would just squirt a little into my hand and rub it on the rash. It took away the itch as soon as it was on my skin. I bet this will work on husbands and children too.

Calamine Lotion

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by David (Tx) on 07/10/2018

Poison ivy: Tried DMSO, no good. Tried acv, no good. Then I tore a paper towel so that folded into 4 layers, it would cover the rash area. The I saturated the top with calamine lotion, put it over the rash area and held it in place with an ace bandage. Next morning, the blisters were almost gone. Doing it again tonight. It is actually ok to press down on the blisters, causing some to pop as it relieves the itching somewhat. The liquid is quickly absorbed and does not spread the rash


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Robin O. (Lander, Wy) on 08/10/2016

I am very sensitive to poison ivy (female 52) and if I do any work in the woods I generally get it to some degree. This year was a bad one, maybe mainly because I didn't get after it with my regular arsenal of Technu and Zanfel soon enough. So I usually wrap my arms in wet ace bandages to keep it from spreading to other parts of my body and to keep my arms cool but the blisters weren't subsiding. A lady at my local health food store recommended Pascalite which is a bentonite like clay mined locally in the Big Horn Mountains (WY). I bought some but thought, no way. But I was so miserable that night out of desperation I just threw some on and it was amazing how fast it dried up the weeping. I had been down the calamine road and wasn't impressed with that stuff but this was a whole new effect. I didn't even need the bandages that night. Within two days I just have light pink scar (scabs are gone) areas that will disappear with time. I don't know if Pascalite can be bought over the internet but maybe any super fine clay would work. Best of luck all!

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 07/17/2016

My search for the best poison ivy treatment continues. I have had opportunity to treat it in my home again this week. My 10 year old son, who reacts badly to it got into some again last week. He had scattered spots on his face, arms and legs. I had him showering once or twice daily and using Fels Naptha Soap on it, which seemed to really help him. He applied DMSO to some spots, too. He did have one spot on his wrist that was oozy. I liberally sprinkled bentonite clay on it (dry) and covered that with a piece of old cotton t-shirt and covered that with cohesive tape. It brought immediate relief to him. He left it on for 24 hours. It looked much, much better when he removed the bandage. The clay was dried onto his skin and he picked it off; I would have preferred he rinse it off. It would have taken a long time, perhaps but would have caused less skin damage. Even so, the skin is MUCH less oozy and red.

Meanwhile, a friend texted for some suggestions for poison ivy. She had some on her leg that was really bothering her. I told her about Fels Naphta and she did that and felt it was helping. But she did have oozy poison ivy. I told her about clay. she used French green clay the same way I used bentonite clay on my son. It gave her relief and helped her to be able to sleep comfortably. It washed off easily in the shower and was less oozy the next day. She just left it on overnight.

I am guessing any medicinal clay would work well for oozy poison ivy. French green clay can be drying, so I think that would be my first choice. But the bentonite clay worked very well for my son, too.

I am sure my poison ivy stories are "to be continued...."

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

M to M, we rarely pick off the dried clay. It just stays there for as long as it wants and eventually comes off in the shower. If it still needs attention, we put new clay (usually wet) on top.

Replied by Robert Henry
(Ten Mile, Tn.)

HI U MAMA,,,,,,,,,,, told you several years ago that chewing on young poison ivy leaves will get you immune. Do you not buy into that solution? Guess you just want to treat the problem. Allopathic vs Integrative. Huh!


Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Robert Henry,

Yes, I have known of the notion to eat poison ivy to gain immunity for years. Have you done this and found it to be an effective solution?

The thing is, that a friend knew a guy who did this and he got deathly ill and hospitalized.

While I love to use natural things for my children, I firmly believe that I must "first do no harm." I would be more likely to try something that I thought had some risk on myself, but would not be willing to take risks, even if they only seemed to be slight risks, with my children.

And, fancy me in the ER telling the doctor that my child was sick from eating poison ivy leaves because I told him to do so. They would lock me up in a hurry and rightly so.

So, I will plod along with my clay and Fels Naphta and DMSO and herbs etc....

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Ye but ORH, a person would need a hefty dose of courage to do that, me thinks....

Replied by Robert Henry
(Ten Mile, Tn.)

HI U MAMA TO MANY,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, my integrative Doctor uses homeopathic methods to address what he finds wrong with me. The chewing of young poison ivy leaves is of the same principle. He is so successful that I'm going to chew the young leaves of poison ivy to prove this point. We all know that is the principle behind all vaccines. You just get enough that your body builds up an immune system to combat the bad guy.

In your last post you said that the Gov. would rightly put you in jail if you used the method I suggested. I think you had no solution, so that was your response. So let's see if I go to the ER or if I am now immune to poison ivy when I chew a little leaf or two.

Some folks talk the talk and some walk the talk. We'll see. ===========ORH===============


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.

Replied by Earthling

ORH, you ole Patoot, I love you but Mama is right; experimenting with such things on young children would be considered intentional child endangerment and she would indeed be in hot water if one of them fell ill and needed medical intervention.

I believe she 'walks the walk' and experiments on herself, but isn't willing to take the same chances with her young children, with good reason.

Plus, what doesn't harm one might harm another. We needn't look any further than food allergies to prove that point. I can eat all the shrimp I want, but others can't eat a bite of it without ending up in the ER with a life-threatening reaction.

Clove Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by RJ (Nashua, New England, USA) on 10/19/2007

I was reading about Poison Ivy control for gardens using Clove Oil from:'


Getting Poison Oak and Poison Ivy - no fun for kids of any age. Try an at home treatment of Poison Ivy (or Poison Oak) by:

Making a paste of a food grade clay and saline solution.

Set up your Witch Hazel paper towels and cotton balls with clove oil near you. Open trash can lid and start washing machine on heavy soil cycle.

Put on Kitchen dishwashing gloves that you can dispose of after treatment.

With gloves on, apply paste over the affected area. Let dry.

Wipe off dried paste with a paper towel, moistened with Witch Hazel. Let area dry. (Vinegar stings more.)

Apply Clove Oil. Cover with a gauze bandage and bandage tape to protect area with Clove Oil application.

Soak plant oil affected clothes in sink, with lots of Vinegar and soapy water. Rinse, and launder.

Throw away paper towels and cotton balls.

Throw away disposable Kitchen Dishwashing Gloves.

Sometimes, kids like a big production, so when you want to do that, recycle some plastic shopping bags and use some gauze tape. Tape bags around the area w/Poison Ivy or Poison Oak - so that only the affected area shows. Then do treatment. Doing that also prevents any of the plant oils from transferring to unaffected skin during treatment. After treatment, with gloves on, remove bags. Throw away shopping bags, then remove disposable gloves, and then throw them away, as they have the plant oils on them.

Coconut Oil, Homeopathics

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Elizabeth (Charlotte, Nc) on 06/26/2014

I am a healthy, mid-thirties, female who has tried many different remedies for relief of poison ivy rashes over the years including technu, jewel weed (on the rash, I haven't tried the tea), salt, alcohol, peroxide, bleach, borax, Ivy Dry, and calamine lotion. None of these really made much difference.

Finally, I have found something that works for me: Coconut oil and homeopathics.

The last significant rash I contracted a couple years ago was treated in the following way: A friend suggested that I anoint the rash with oil (she suggested olive oil, but I used coconut) and pray for it. Which I did. The rash stopped being so itchy and began healing. I continued applying coconut oil to it daily. I also noticed that it did not bother me while I was taking my homeopathic treatment for allergies.

What I've learned: the current theory of treatment for poison ivy says, "dry out the rash! " However, this isn't just a rash, its our skin. The skin needs moisture to be healthy, but water seems to irritate the rash.

I've heard that urishol is what causes the allergic reaction and that it acts like a virus in the body. So the immune system is involved.

Coconut oil is a known anti-viral. I have been surprised at how it can help irritations on the skin. I simply apply some oil to the rash in the morning, after showering, before bed or as needed.

The homeopathic medicine I took was for respiratory allergies, but it helped. I have tried homeopathic remedies that are labeled for poison oak/ivy, but they didn't seem to help as much.

Since we can't name products, I'll list the ingredients in the homeopathic remedy I use:

  • Echinacea angustifolia 4x, 12x, 20x, 30x
  • Ignatia amara 6x
  • Lycopodium clavatum 6x
  • Sulphur 6x, 12x, 20x, 30x
  • Thuja occidentalis 6x
  • Ledum palustre 8x
  • Phosphorus 8x
  • Antimonium Crudum 12x
  • Histaminum hydrochloricum 12x
  • Selenium 12x.

I use as directed on the label which amounts to taking one tablet every four hours.

Other things that help:

I take the usual precautions of washing my clothes and skin within twenty minutes of exposure to the plant.

When I discover the itchy red spots I wash the area with soap and water before applying the the coconut oil the first time, just to make sure any remaining plant oils are removed.

I've noticed that the itchiness is the worst when I am hungry and/or tired. So I try to take care of myself. Taking vitamin C also seems to help as well as anything that boosts the immune system.

As a teen I contracted the severest case of poison ivy of my life. The rash formed the hard leathery stage from my wrist to my elbow on both arms. (Agony) It only seemed to heal when Mom gave me a combination of Chinese herbs for the immune system. The herbs helped so much that she stopped giving them to me before the rash was fully healed. It resurged, so she had to give them to again til it was gone.

I also avoid sugar and wheat. I really believe these things aggravate so many negative conditions in the body, at least for me anyway.

Since discovering this remedy I have avoided contracting any significant cases of the rash. Instead, I'll find an itchy, red spot or two from time to time. I just use the protocol described above and the spots go away shortly without spreading and without causing suffering.

I really hope this info helps others.

Colloidal Silver

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 02/02/2019

My son keeps finding poison ivy. It is hard in the winter because the oil of poison ivy is in the roots and stems and you don't have the leaves to clue you in to pending trouble! Anyway, he had a bad rash on his leg from the poison ivy. He had been scratching it and it was starting to look infected. I had him put colloidal silver gel on it. I bought some Silver Shield Colloidal Silver Gel to have on hand as an easy treatment for kitchen burns and we have used it for such several times. Well, the silver gel did stop the infected look his rash had and he was convinced that it was helping the rash. He kept putting it on the rash and it cleared up quicker than usual. I will definitely be using this again in the future. I can't have too many remedies in my poison ivy arsenal! ~Mama to Many~


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Louis (Sc) on 09/29/2020

Comfrey is amazing

Even f the rash is old, swollen n leaking fluid, comfrey is probably the only medicinal herb that immediately stops the itching n starts the healing. Personal experience. It is truly better than the expensive otc junk, hot showers - which seems to aid in spreading the itchy oils systemically, and the other stuff I've tried which seem useless after the initial set in stage.

EC: Hi Louis,

We presume you mean comfrey for a oison ivy rash? If not, please reply so we can put your feedback on the correct page. Thanks!

Cream of Tartar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Kim (Olsburg, Ks, USA) on 11/13/2009

Prevent Poison Ivy

I suffered something awful when they stopped giving the prevention shots for poison ivy at the doctors office. I am so susceptible to it that I'd swear I can get it by looking at it through binoculars! If I broke out in the spring it would stay with me through October. No exaggerating. I finally met a lady whose grandma told her to add a teaspoon of cream of tartar to water and drink it in the early spring (it's awful bitter!). My family has been doing this for years, now, and it really does work! If we're going to be out around poison ivy, or oak in the fall we take another dose just to be safe.

Replied by Sharon

This works great! I read about cream of tartar in another place a couple years ago, and it just said to take it, so l ate a half teaspoon right off the spoon and followed it with water. It tastes tart, not bitter this way. It prevented my husbands allergic reaction to the grass and weeds as he cut the grass as well. l also used it to stop an asthma attack from mold when l was out of meds, and it worked. It is a by-product of wine-making, the powder forming on the barrels from a substance in grapes and other tart fruits.

Dave's Poison Ivy Test

Posted by Dave (Fountain Inn, Sc) on 09/02/2015


I'm experimenting with what I think is the formula I heard over 50 years ago to make oneself resistant to Poison Ivy.

I heard this from a Cherokee source. I do not know if it is authentic or not as a proven method. I am obviously proceeding with great caution.

First: I have dried PI leaves....about 40 leaves.

Second: I took a pinch of the dried leaf and rubbed in on the inside of my wrist. I washed my hands but left the wrist untouched. If any itching or PI evidence had showed up on my wrist I would have immediately used my anti PI remedies to stop progress. I use Borax to clean the infected area...repeated...then use bentonite clay topically and internally.

If no negative results from the "wrist" sensitivity test emerges...and it did not... I then take a very small amount again...about half the size of my fingernail...and put that in my mouth. I do not swallow. I just let the brief exposure in my mouth stay for less than 10 seconds.

No reaction to that "mouth" test also. So far so good.

Next I will take a whole leaf and put in hot water and steep.

Again, I will first apply the liquid to the wrist.

If no reaction to that will do a "mouth test" using the steeped liquid...about a teaspoon full and spit out after ten seconds. If no reaction to that...

The REAL test begins...and hopefully what will begin the "immunization" test.


Next: I will drink a teaspoon of the PI tea. This is the beginning of the real test. The idea and theory is that by ingesting a degraded amount of the PI poison the body might build a resistance to the poison.

So....gradually....over the next few months I will drink tiny amounts of the tea to test the theory.

AND THEN...next summer...

You guessed it....I will intentionally expose myself to Poison Ivy.

I fully expect to get the rash....that is, I do not think this experiment will work.

So why am I doing this? Because I am tired of wondering if the old remedy I heard from a Cherokee Indian...55 years ago is a myth.

Thus I am my own test body. Guinea pig.

Stay tuned...I may be reporting back in 9 months just how stupid I am. Note...I will only touch the poison ivy leaf to my hand next summer... and be prepared to immediately act if the rash begins.

Replied by Rebel
(Somewhere Usa)

Hi Dave. I have not had much time to read up on this, but here is a link to an herbalist Darryl Patton. He speaks here about developing immunity


Hope this might help.

Replied by Robert Henry
(Ten Mile, Tn)

HI U DAVE, , , , , , , , that is wild and strange. But let me tell you a story of a fellow who was in my chelation group here in East Tn. He declared that if you chew young poison ivy leaves then you will be immune to the plant forever. His wife crossed her heart and said that was true. I get it, but am a chicken to do this. It's suppose to be the homeopathic way. All you need is a little dose.

I don't understand it, but my chelation doctor cures lots of folks with homeopathic methods. About a year a go a high dollar world sales woman picked a parasite problem in Indonesia and all the Atlanta doctors had no clue. My doctor uses the same system that Hulda Clark used only now it is computerized. His test showed that she had a parasite and he treated that and now she's good to go. She's a good looker and sweet smeller and the doc is smitten. She handles him like a little puppy dog. You don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Guess the solution is not to grow old.

Keep us informed on your experiment.


Diatomaceous Earth

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Leticia (Houston, Texas) on 12/25/2012

I love this website and often come here for advice. I had found that diatomaceous earth helps soothe bug bites because it draws out the poison, but I had not found anything for it under curing poison ivy.

My son lives in a woody area and has a severe reaction to poison ivy. I usually have to take him to the doctor for a course of steroids, but since his infection happened right before Christmas, my only option was to go wait in an ER which he did not want to do. While I was in my pantry searching for my ACV, I came across my diatomaceous earth and a light went off inside in my brain.

I had him take a very hot shower and then made up paste of diatomaceous earth and water. I had to put it on him at least 3 times a day. I then gave him an allergy pill. By the 3rd day, it completely dissappeared with no scabbing. I had read many posts that said scrub the heads off, but I did not have to do that. Depending on how severe your infection is- 3 days is what it took for a mild infection.

I hope this remedy will bring you relief. Good luck!

Replied by Leticia
(Houston, Texas)

I just realized that I forgot to mention that I used FOOD grade diatomaceous earth not the industrial one.

Dishwashing Liquid, Lemon Juice

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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



7 User Reviews
5 star (5) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by Robert Henry (Ten Mile, Tn.) on 10/13/2015

HI U OLE PATOOTS, , , , , , , , have gotten poison ivy all my life and tried every remedy known to man. All will eventually dry it up, but I have never used anything that worked as quickly as DMSO.

Last week while cleaning out brush at the farm I must have gotten the juice on my glove and rubbed my cheek because Sunday it was swollen and running blisters. My tractor driver suggested DMSO because it had healed her ringworm when the tincture of Walnut would not. I applied it Sunday and Monday. Tuesday, it is totally dried.

So you get a twofer with this post.


Replied by Deedii
1 posts

Posted by Renee (Bergen Co., Nj) on 08/22/2012

DMSO, applied topically to my husband's poison ivy, caused the itching to increase and it looked more irritated. He tried several applications, all with the same result. It did not help it go away.

Replied by Dak
(Detroit, US)

Some people have sensitivity to Undiluted DMSO. Diluting DMSO with peroxide and adding coconut oil may help to tolerate the DMSO application.

Replied by D. Saettel
(Farmersville, Ohio)

When I am finished working in the garden or hiking, I come in and shower with dish soap and a small amount of ammonia using a net wash cloth. Suds up all over, rinse, never get poison ivy anymore. Think the ammonia neutralizes that poison acid.

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