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Home Remedies for Poison Ivy

Category Home Remedies
When you come in contact with this plant, you want to reduce the inflammation and painful itch. This guide is about home remedies for poison oak.


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By 2 found this helpful
June 3, 2013

I had it all over my arms and ankles. I tried alcohol, aloe, witch hazel, dish soap, lemon, etc.! No relief, the itch was killing me. It would wake me up in the middle of the night!

Finally, what finally dried it up after a week is a spray called Tecnu. It's at Walgreens or CVS. It is awesome. It cures the itch, cools the area and dried it up. It cost me $14.00 at CVS. Just thought I would share!

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October 23, 20080 found this helpful

I must share something that has helped me tremendously. An elderly neighbor told me how to get rid of poison ivy, of which I had known the horrors of. She said to me, the old timers would pick a leaf of the plant each spring and eat it. I now pick a small leaf and eat it each spring, and I can pick wild blackberries with my hands all in the poison ivy and never have a reaction. Most folks are scared of this when I tell them, but blessed be my neighbor, it works for me.

By Rexe from Junction City, Arkansas

Editor's Note: Warning! Eating poison ivy can be very dangerous and can cause shock and severe breathing problems. Advice similar to Rexe's can be found all over the internet and in some cases, this may be an effective way to increase your immunity to poison ivy. But I would strongly recommend against trying this approach.

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April 18, 20050 found this helpful

After washing the area with soap and water, wipe down that area of the skin with a mix of 1/2 chlorine bleach and 1/2 water and rinse with water. Helps to remove the plant oil that creates all that itching.


By Truerblue

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 21, 2007

Does anyone know of some homemade cures for poison ivy?

Sandy from Bluff City, TN


May 22, 20070 found this helpful

If someone in your area grows jewel flowers, ask for some and for some seeds so you can grow your own. You mush up everything but the roots and apply it to the infected area. It's an old fashion remedy but works better than cortizone. My grandmother called the flowers 'touch-me-nots' because when you touch the ripe seed pods, they explode. They are really hard to find. Some places on the internet sell soap and lotions made from the jewel flowers. I've heard that they work fairly well. A little searching might help you find some real flowers or something made from them. Good luck

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By COOKIEPOM (Guest Post)
May 22, 20070 found this helpful

I get poison ivy every year from somewhere in one of my flower beds. A friend of mine told me to use bleach on a cotton ball applied to the area.


I did and it worked great! It dried up the rash and made me feel much better as well.

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By Amy Lane (Guest Post)
May 23, 20070 found this helpful

I'm severly allergic to Poison Ivy and we have it rampant thru our yard. I use generic benedryl capsuls one twice a day and two at night so I don't fall asleep at my job! During the day I keep the pre-packed alcohol swipes with me and rub the areas down quite often. The alcohol dries it and stops the itching.

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May 23, 20070 found this helpful

I haven't personally found a cure for poison ivy, though I had it really, really bad one year. Had to get shots and take cortisone too.

This isn't a cure, but it definitely helps during healing: Hopefully, the affected area is in an area of your body that can be held under water. Hold the area under water as hot as you can stand it for about as long as you can stand it. It will feel like it is being "scratched" really, really hard. When you are through, gently dry the area and that should curb the itching for about 24 hours.

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By Mythi (Guest Post)
May 23, 20070 found this helpful

Drink lots of water and take Vitamin C and E. It helps the immune system clear up the body. You can also use a blow dryer on a LOW setting as it drys the poison ivy out.


The one other thing is to use Clearasil / Salycilic Acid. Spread it on thinly and it helps dry the top layer and the rash peel off.

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May 23, 20070 found this helpful

I don't know of a homemade cure, but Burt's Bees makes a "Farmers Friend Poison Ivy soap" with Jewelweed in it and it works very well to calm down the inflammation and itching. It is also good if you get the "itchies" after working in the yard. It runs about $5 a bar and I know carries it. Perhaps a store in your area carries it? A lot of specialty stores carry Burt's Bees products. I have also bought some homemade Jewelweed soap at a couple of craft fairs.

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By annie (Guest Post)
May 23, 20070 found this helpful

My father always rubbed a lather of fels naptha soap on us and let it dry. It never failed.

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May 23, 20070 found this helpful

the main thing is to make sure all the clothing is washed in hot water. and then you wash your whole self with antibacterial soap. no matter what the poisen doesnt spread but where ever you touched while the oil was still on you that is where the poisen will be.


many people dont realize this information but the spreading is really from the oil on your clothes and such.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 12, 2012

What can I do, short of going to my doctor, to treat poison ivy, especially the itch? I've had it before, but it's never have been this itchy!

Thankz a million in advance.

By AL from Pittsburgh, PA

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By 0 found this helpful
August 9, 2005

Any new ideas on treating poison ivy? My arms started with the rash, itch three days ago and I am about to go crazy. Not to mention that it looks so gross!

Jan from South Carolina


August 9, 20050 found this helpful

Jewelweed is best known for its skin healing properties. The leaves and the juice from the stem of Jewelweed are used to cure poison ivy and other plant induced rashes.

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By Barbara (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

I have been able to get rid of poison ivy by scrubbing the rash with a brush and strong soap. The scrubbing causes the blisters to open up. The soap removes the fluid quickly so that it will not cause the rash to spread.


The rash will dry up and heal. I am convinced that high doses of Vitamin C will help the body to heal.

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August 10, 20050 found this helpful

Band-Aid makes a calamine that comes in an aerosol spray- that way you don't have to touch it. My husband found that to be very helpful. Also the traditional soaking in epsom salt-water helps dry things up. When washing, you might want to try a poison ivy wash by Tech-nu. I don't remember the exact name, but it cuts the oils so it doesn't continue to spread. You can find it at Wal-Mart or wherever. Hope you get to feeling better!

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August 10, 20050 found this helpful

CalaGel made by Oak-n-ivy is a wonderful product that we use here. Poison ivy grows throughout the bush in the valley next to us. Someone gets poison ivy each summer on themselves, usually my son.

CalaGel is a clear gel. You thinly spread it on the poison ivy rash and it instantly takes the itch away. When is dries it forms a "crust" over the rash keeping the poison ivy rash from weeping. No one else knows you have it on because it is clear...not like calmine lotion doea by leaving a white area. You reapply is about 2 - 3 times a day as needed.

I also use CalaGel to put on a bee sting, mosquito bites, mild sunburn, etc. It is wonderful.

Here is Canada we can not buy it but in the US you can get it at the local pharmacy, I believe. 1-800-ITCHING. It is made by Tec Laboratories, Inc. Albany. OR 97321. Look in google to see the reviews of it, you will be quite impressed. I highly recommend it!!

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By Julie (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

I used to get poison oak constantly as a kid. We would mix salt and vinegar together and pack it on our body. I also would swim in the pool alot. It seemed to cool everything down. Good luck!!!!!!!! It is so miserable.

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By JERRY (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

If the poison ivy is just a small patch, I recommend
using a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.
Use a cotton ball to wipe the area with the solution several times a day. Worked for me.
Also I had a larger patch, and my husband bought some Ivy-Dry and would put it on the spot (it was on my back) for me 3 times daily. After about 4 days it really started to dry up.

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By mary (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

I found that athlete's foot powder helped me the best, it will stop the itch and dry up the spots, It worked for me when aveeno etc. would not.

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August 10, 20050 found this helpful

Have you tried taking benedryl , it'l stop the itching and dry it at the same time. good luck

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By annie. (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

If you can find fels naptha bar soap in your area - slightly dampen the area and rub the bar all over until you are completely covered with lather. Let it air dry and it will be gone in no time

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By Mary (Guest Post)
August 19, 20050 found this helpful

Jewel weed is the best. Also known as touch me knots. They are in the impatient family. If you have impatients in your garden, break off the stems and squeeze the juice on the rash. I dry them and make soap for my friends. Works great Good Luck!

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August 19, 20050 found this helpful

Go to the Health Food Store and request Poison Oak Tablets. They are a Hyland product and are about $5.00 a bottle. I have been using these successfully and recommending them for about 30 years. If you plan to go camping where there might be poison ivy, just take a couple tablets a day for several days before your campout. It immunizes you. I used to pick wild blackberries every year to sell at the farmer's market, and I took them daily during the season, beginning about a week before I started picking. I once fell off a log backwards in a large patch of poison ivy, and never got a blister. They really work well.
Harlean from Arkansas

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By debbie (Guest Post)
December 2, 20050 found this helpful

when I was a kid, a neighbor burned brush with poison ivy. I had it everywhere and doctors gave internally and external medication but I had it so severe, it barely worked. The doctor was going to admit me into the hospital but told my mother to take me to the beach and let me soak in the ocean. It worked wonders and back at home my mother made a salt salution but it didnt work. We went back to the beach for another soaking and brought home gallons of sea water home. I was able to wear clothes again and keep my eyes open within 4 days. Everything cleared up within a week. Since then mild cases of it is always cleared up in a day or two after a day at the beach.

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June 13, 2013

Is there a good cream for the itch from poison ivy? I've had the bad experience of getting poison ivy again, this is the second year. I've never had it before until last year and this year. I've gone to the doctor and was prescribed some pills and cream for the itch and rash.

It's been over a month and I still have the rash. It's slowly going away. My question is: There is an over the counter cream called Zanfel that is sold at Walgreens in a little tube for over $35.00 that is suppose to stop the itch within 30 seconds and start clearing up the rash by the second day! Has anyone ever tried this cream and does it really work? Is it worth the money for such a small amount? I have relatives that swear that it works great, but I reviewed it and found others that would not buy the stuff and said it didn't work at all. Should I buy this or not? Is there a generic brand that would work better and cheaper? Any help would be great. Thanks.

By Linda Delcamp from Brighton, MI

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May 3, 2012

Is there a treatment for poison ivy in a pill form? I have tried all the over the counter medicines to stop the itch, etc., but nothing seems to help. Outside of going to a doctor does anyone know if there anything else I can take?

By Brenda Wilson

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June 26, 20110 found this helpful

My husband has poison oak on his leg. Any ideas on how to cure it?

By Elizabeth D.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 30, 2007

I've heard that poison ivy hates boron-rich soil, and that an easy way to kill it off and prevent it from re-growing is to add borax to the soil. Has anyone else heard of this? And do you know if it would hurt other plants as well? I have three 100+ year old maples that I really don't want to kill. I have tons of poison ivy, and this seemed like a relatively cheap and safe way to get rid of it. Any ideas?

Hardiness Zone: 5a


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By 0 found this helpful
June 12, 2017

I work in the heat all day, (construction). Should I cover my poison ivy rash?

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By 0 found this helpful
August 3, 2012

Does anyone know how to treat poison ivy and how to prevent it?

By Paula M

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By 0 found this helpful
September 16, 2010

I have poison oak on my body and it is very easy for me to catch this. Are there any people out there who have home remedies for this? Help! Please.

By Jimmie

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June 30, 20080 found this helpful

How do we use Fels Naptha to effectively treat poison ivy rash? And anything special to do with it to make laundry soap for poison ivy clothes?


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By 0 found this helpful
May 10, 2011

I have poison ivy on my face and I have done all of the treatments and I believe that it is getting better. Well, I don't know if it's getting better because it's all dried up! Please tell me if that's good or bad. I need info.

By I<3Horses from MA

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By 0 found this helpful
July 8, 2013

My brother's dog went outside and got into poison sumac and he did not know til the next day. What is good for treating my brother's skin around the eyes, mouth, and all over his face? I also need to know how to get it off the dog as well.

By Joanna G

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September 16, 20100 found this helpful

Spring through fall are prime seasons for poison ivy and poison oak. Stop the itching, spread and blisters with these home and natural remedies:

  • Homemade Paste: Mix one tablespoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita) with 1 to 2 cup green clay, and add enough water to form a paste. Apply the paste liberally to the rash and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. Store leftover paste in a tightly sealed jar and reapply as needed. The remedy soothes the itch by absorbing the irritating plant oils and drying the rash. It also works for poison oak.
  • Hot water and a banana: Take as hot as shower as you can stand for as long as you can. It will feel good and help relieve the itching. Then take a banana peel and rub it on the infected area. The itch should be gone for eight to twelve hours.
  • Watermelon: Take watermelon (the rind and the meat) and glide it over the rash. Let it dry naturally. Within a day, the condition should improve greatly.
  • Baking soda and coffee: First put about a half a cup baking soda in a bowl and slowly add cool coffee to make a thick paste. Then apply the paste liberally to the affected area and allow to dry. The poison will flow out of the blisters like water.
  • Turmeric and lime or lemon juice: Mix one tablespoon of turmeric spice with roughly equal parts of lime or lemon juice to form a thick paste. Carefully apply to the afflicted skin. This remedy stains, and stings ever so slightly, but works miraculously. For avoiding stains on clothes, furniture or carpet, use it in the bathtub, so the bright yellow stuff doesn't fall down and make a mess. Let it sit on your skin for fifteen minutes, then wipe off excess. Some stain will likely remain. By the next day you will be astonished at how it the ivy has dried up and nearly vanished.
  • Vick's Vapor Rub: Clean the infected areas first and then rub Vick's on the areas twice a day to rid infection. Slightly burns at first. Dries up the infection in one to three days.
  • Poke salad root: Boil the root of a poke salad plant until it turns into a paste form. It will have a strong odor. Then, once it has cooled enough not to scald, rub it on the infected area until you can feel it "burn or sting". It should neutralize the poison ivy overnight.
  • Dishwashing liquid: Rub dishwashing liquid onto skin area and within 15 to 20 minutes the itch should disappear. Do not wash off until the next morning and then reapply. Within a couple of days the skin area should clear. This is also good for mosquito bites.
  • Burdock roots: Make a strong tea with burdock roots and apply to the skin. Let it dry and re-apply as often as needed. It relieves the itching immediately.
  • Hemorrhoid ointment or liquid Blistex: Smear it on the areas affected to relieve itching and clear up within 24 hours or so.
  • Peachtree leaves: Get some leaves from a peach tree, boil them and then let the water cool. Take a cotton ball and apply the liquid to the affected areas. Works almost overnight and should be almost completely clear within two-three days.
  • Oatmeal: Run a warm bath and fill an old sock with oatmeal. While soaking in the tub, take the sock of oatmeal and gently rub it all over the affected areas.
  • Clear fingernail polish: Can be used to coat the affected areas to prevent spreading and lessen itching.

By Tony from Utopia, TX


Remedies for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

A lady in our church had it so bad that it got into her eyes and the inside of her mouth! She went to the doctor and he gave her shot and more shots, nothing worked. Finally someone told her to take white shoe polish and put it all over her body, except the eyes and inside her mouth, let it dry and repeat until it was gone. She did this and it took care of it for her. Some type of alcohol used in the white polish cured the rash. Only the white polish has this type of alcohol. I am not in the medical field, but it worked for her. Won't hurt to try it. (05/11/2007)

By martha pitts

Remedies for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Benadryl. One of the best things you can do for poison ivy is to use Benadryl cream "on" the area and also take Benadryl orally too. The cheapest way is to use the generic Benadryl... diphenhydramine. Benadryl works by helping your body to "not" produce histamines (which cause itching and swelling)


  • Vinegar - One of the best is vinegar, apply liberally on rash with a wet paper towel or cotton ball or poison ivy blisters for instant relief from itch. It may not smell great, but works wonders by helping draw out the "poison" from poison ivy while it also helps healing. It works by changing the skins pH. Use white or cider, either will work.
  • Baking soda - Another pH changer is the old standby, Baking soda bath or just mix baking soda and water together and pat on skin. Baking soda works by drying out the blisters and the cool baking soda baths soothe and help stop itching.
  • Banana peal - Many think that banana peal is a "miracle cure". Use the inside of a banana peel rubbed on the poison ivy rash. It's supposed to bring instant, cooling relief. Some say that banana skins may even do the trick when all other poison ivy treatment fails. I say, "Give it a try, it can only help!"
  • Dish soap - When "first" exposed to poison ivy and the like, quickly apply straight dishwashing liquid liberally from the bottle at full strength. Then simply wash off with cool water. The greatest cutting agents help get off as much of the poison as possible before all of it can penetrate you skin.
  • Aloe vera gel - For just plain helping the poison ivy heal and helping it feel good too, don't forget the old stand by fresh aloe vera gel.
  • Oatmeal - Another method for "drying" up the poison ivy, thus helping the area to heal is plain old oatmeal. Simply make the oatmeal as you normally would, then let it cool and apply warm to the area until a thick layer forms. It will harden as it dries. You can also add a tablespoon or two of baking soda for extra relief.
  • Urine - Yes, you read it right, urine can help poison ivy as it does jellyfish. Urine is sterile and it's supposed to get rid of poison ivy and the like in half the time! Many swear by it. If you have the nerve, maybe you'll try it too. Just don't pee on your kids.They'll think you've gone crazy!
  • DMSO - Is supposed to get rid of poison ivy and oak in 3 or 4 days.
  • Hydrocortisone and other corticosteroids help by relieving itching and also promote healing. Use sparingly, especially with children!
  • Pure "clay" powder mixed with water. The type of clay you can get a most health food stores (called bentonite clay) works best, or you can sometimes buy liquid clay (called "slip") from stores that cell ceramics. Clay works by drying up the blisters like oatmeal does, but clay works faster. Use only super clean clay or you may very well have an infection to deal with too.
  • Pennies soaked in vinegar - I read on the internet that by placing about 40 pennies in one cup of vinegar and letting these sit for a day. The chemical reaction of copper and vinegar are supposed to form in this liquid. This copper/vinegar solution is supposed to dry up the blisters. Who knows if it works? But I wouldn't try this on children. If you want to try this: Do it on yourself first, not your kids.
  • Table salt - Here's a quote from the internet "For poison oak or poison ivy use plain table salt. Just wet the infected area and rub it with table salt for fast relief and to stop the spread. Use again if itching doesn't stop after the first application. Usually stops it cold and also stops the spread. I have been using it for over 40 years with much success. It was told me by my grandmother who had used it for many years."
  • Blow drying - Here's another quote from the internet: "For poison ivy to help stop itching, get a blow dryer and on high heat blow on infected till itching stops." (a note: I think this is another method that works by "drying" up the blisters like oatmeal and baking soda and table salt)
  • Rubbing alcohol - Dermatologists recommend applying rubbing alcohol liberally to skin and clothing exposed to poison ivy, followed by a thorough washing with water. This can be done anytime within four hours of exposure. Alcohol is a solvent and draws the toxic oils out of the skin and clothing and prevents or reduces the rash and itching.


Some people have a severe allergic reaction to poison ivy and the like (just like some have with bees). If this is you, have someone get you to a doctor right away or call 911 immediately! If you have this allergy (or one to bees, etc.) ask your doctor about having an "Epi-pen" around for emergencies such as these.

DO NOT use bleach, this can permanently burn you skin and cause massive pain!

Here's some great sites for home remedies for poison ivy, etc.: (05/23/2007)

By Cyinda

Remedies for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Just tried the table salt trick and it worked very well. I can't believe how fast it worked. The red blisters don't itch and they are about gone. WOW this is crazy! (08/09/2008)

By Jo Jo

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