Essential Oils for Poison Ivy
If you have ever had it, then you know… poison ivy is terrible! The relentless itching and pain. The extreme redness, swelling and sometimes blisters caused by this plant can be unbearable. It is reported that up to 80% of our population has an allergic reaction to Poison Ivy. If you are one of those people, you should know that there are ways to ease the uncomfortable situation naturally with Essential Oils.
The symptoms that you experience after coming in contact with this 3 leaved vine is a result of contact dermatitis and some reactions are definitely worse than others. In milder cases, you can actually treat it yourself. Obviously, the very first thing you need to do after you have encountered the plant is to wash your hands, skin, and clothing making sure to get rid of the oil resin called urushiol. Once the condition of the affected area begins to worsen, you must do what you can to ease irritation. Poison Ivy creates inflammation which also causes pain. So when it comes to treating it with essential oils, you want to focus on anti-inflammatory and analgesic oils.
Have you ever noticed how the scent of Peppermint actually smells cool? That is because it contains menthol which is very cooling. This can be incredibly helpful when your skin feels tight and hot. Peppermint is great for calming inflammation and amazing for soothing skin. This is a real relief when you are itchy and red. This incredible oil also aids in pain relief by keeping nerves from overreacting.
An ideal way to use Peppermint Essential Oil when dealing with Poison Ivy would be to use it in addition to the already cooling bentonite clay. Mixing in a few drops of Peppermint oil and creating a mask for the painful area can be very soothing.
Two of the most powerful yet gentle Essential Oils you can use for skin inflammation are Chamomile and Helichrysum. These oils are both calming and healing so they are great choices for easing the harsh response of the rash, but also to reduce scarring and renew skin cells. One study showed that applying Chamomile to itchy skin actually worked better than hydrocortisone cream. A separate scientific review showed Helichrysum to be successful at reducing bacteria on the skin.
Chamomile and Helichrysum are both precious oils that come with a higher price tag, so they should be used sparingly. Adding only two drops of your Essential Oil to a tablespoon of Aloe and applying to the rash would be useful for helping the wound to heal.
Geranium oil is amazing for skin in all capacities, but when it comes to allergic reactions, it really shines. This soothing oil has anti-allergenic properties and has shown in studies to reduce inflammation by preventing extra histamines from being released. This means that it can help stabilize the immune system and ease the body’s reaction.
An efficient way to use Geranium Essential Oil with Poison Ivy would be to add a few drops to a gentle carrier oil like Grapeseed Oil and rub it onto the affected area.
This versatile oil does so many great things for skin as well, but one of the best things is what it doesn’t do. Tea Tree Oil does not let the area get infected or get inflamed. In studies, Tea Tree has proven to reduce histamine induced skin inflammation in just 10 minutes. Additionally, this anti-fungal oil can help prevent the rash from turning into something worse or spreading further.
A great way to use Tea Tree Essential Oil when you are experiencing the symptoms of Poison Ivy (after it stops oozing) is to create a protective paste. Mix a few drops of Tea Tree with a teaspoon of carrier oil. Then add it to 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda and mix very well. Put the paste onto the swollen area and let dry. Once dry, you can remove the baking soda flakes if desired and savor the feeling of relief.