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Homeopathy Heals Poison Oak and Ivy

Contact with poison oak and ivy can produce very itchy and troubling rashes which fortunately can be treated using homeopathy. The skin irritation comes from touching any part of the plant including the vine. The plants are green in spring and summer but turn reddish in fall and winter.

Contact with urishiol from poison oak, poison ivy or sumac can cause an inflammatory response.

Another way of getting the rash is by petting or touching animals that have been in contact with the plants. Clothing, garden tools, and sports equipment (bikes, hiking poles) can also retain the poisonous resin for some time. The rash, however, cannot spread from one person to another.

Regardless of how you get it, left untreated the rash and the almost intolerable itching can consume your life for many days and nights.

As in all situations, it is best to start homeopathic treatment early—as soon as you notice the first itching red bumps on your skin. The rash may begin to pop up in other areas of your body—even areas that were not in contact with the plant—if you have not washed the resin from your hands or clothing.

(To learn about a way to reduce your sensitivity to poison oak and ivy using homeopathy, read all the way to the end.)

Homeopathy can bring relief

Surprisingly, you will not be putting anything on your rashes when using homeopathic medicine. You can, of course, use calamine lotion or coconut oil to soothe your skin. Hot showers often make people feel better while waiting for the rash to disappear.

The most common remedy for poison oak and ivy is Rhus toxicodendron. You can easily obtain the 30C dosage at any health food store, natural foods market, many pharmacies and online. Take three to five of the little white pills (the exact number is not terribly important) and allow them to dissolve under your tongue. If you don’t feel relief in 15 minutes or so, repeat the dose. If you do feel relief, don’t repeat the dose unless the itching returns. Thereafter, you can take another dose whenever it is needed. Please note that you cannot overdose on homeopathic medicine which is nontoxic.

As you can see, while the treatment is simple, you need to be attuned to your body and its sensations or those of your child if you are treating a child. Children take the same dose as adults. Administer a dose and wait and watch to see if it has helped. In many cases it can provide relief almost immediately.

It may take a day or two of dosing to feel that you have turned the corner on the itching. But this is far better than waiting the one to three weeks it typically takes to heal without treatment. And, with this natural medicine, you can avoid using topical or internal steroids.

The tubes containing Rhus toxicodendron usually contain 80 pellets and are often available for under $10. To use this remedy, simply twist the cap and a few of the white pills will fall into the cap. Pop these in your mouth without touching them and allow them to dissolve.

Don’t be concerned if the “indication” on the tube mentions joint pain. There is very little room on the small tube to print all the possible uses for Rhus tox. If you and/or family members are susceptible to poison oak and ivy, you may want to have some on hand so that you can begin treatment immediately if you are exposed.

Tips for Success

  1. Try to take doses of your remedy 15 minutes before or 15 minutes after eating or drinking.
  1. If you drink coffee, and don’t want to switch to tea for a few days, try to take your remedy at times of the day when you are not drinking coffee. Some people think coffee can make the treatment somewhat less effective.
  1. Do not allow the remedy to become overheated (above 120 degrees) such as in a hot car. You don’t need to keep homeopathic remedies refrigerated.
  1. Keep the remedy away from strong odors. Don’t keep it in a drawer with lavender sachets, for example.
  1. Keep the remedy away from electric currents. Don’t store it on top of your TV or computer.

Several of my patients are extremely sensitive to poison oak or ivy. I helped them become less sensitive through the following technique:

During the winter months, take one dose of Rhus toxicodendron 6C (notice the change in potency) one time each week for two months.

You can find the 6C potency from several sources by doing a Google search. It is very important use only the 6C potency for this purpose. These patients found that they had very small outbreaks when in contact with the plants after this therapy. Typically, this therapy only needs to be done once.

Note from reviewer: A number of studies have shown that the homeopathic remedy referred to as Rhus tox can both prevent poison oak and poison ivy allergic reactions as well as reduce the inflammatory response upon contact. A review of this research is available at

About the Author:

Gloria St. John, MA, MBA, practiced homeopathy for over 20 years. She now lives in Chicago. She can be contacted at
To find a homeopath near you, visit:

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