(NaturalNews) Exposure to poison ivy and poison oak can cause rashes and skin eruptions, but homeopathic remedies provide help. Poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) is mostly found on the west coast of the United States, whereas poison ivy (Toxicodendron radican) grows mainly in the east. The leaves of both plants are easy to identify but hard to avoid. They grow in every area of the United States, except in the desert and at high altitudes. Poison ivy grows in Canada and Northern Mexico as well. The name of the oil that causes the reaction is urushiol. The rash is an allergic reaction to the oil and some people are more reactive than others, or not at all.
Poison ivy leaves are three-pronged. It grows as a bush, at the beach, up a tree or along a path. Rashes and blisters appear quickly and can last for days and even up to three weeks. Bathing in cold water can remove the toxin from skin, if done immediately after exposure. Washing with alcohol can also help in the first six hours. Poison ivy rash is not contagious once the oils from the plants have been absorbed, but could be contagious right after the immediate exposure, when the toxins from the plants are still on the surface of the skin.
Poison ivy was first mentioned in the 1600s when Captain John Smith named it because of its resemblance to English ivy. Botanists named the plant Rhus toxicodendron in 1635.
Homeopathic Remedies for Poison Ivy
Arnica Arnica treats a rash that has transparent vesicles. The skin feels hot.
Apis Apis can be used when the rash is red and filled with a great deal of fluid, or if there is swelling in the area of the rash.
Bryonia Bryonia is the homeopathic remedy to use for poison ivy when the skin is hot, pale and dry. The person will be better from cool bathing and light pressure to the area.
Kali sulphuricum Kali sulf is used on poison ivy rash that is yellow or full of pus, especially if the pus is yellow.
Arsenicum album Arsenicum rash can itch without eruptions. The hands may swell, as well as the feet and the face. The person is worse between 1-2 am and 1-2 pm and they can feel cold. The rash of Arsenicum is dry and rough, and the vesicles are clear or transparent.
Rhus tox Rhus tox is the remedy made from poison ivy. It can be used homeopathically when the eyes are swollen shut and rash is better from warm water application.
Sulphur The Sulphur rash is worse when you first get into bed and with scratching or bathing. The rash is dry and crusty. The person needing Sulphur will scratch the itch until it bleeds.
Many homeopathic remedies can be purchased over the counter in health food stores or specialty food stores.
Melanie Grimes is a writer, award-winning screenwriter, medical journal editor, and adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. She also teaches homeopathy at the Seattle School of Homeopathy and the American Homeopathic Medical College. A trained homeopath, she is the editor of the homeopathic journal, Simillimum, and has edited alternative and integrative medical journals for 15 years. She has taught creative writing, founded the first Birkenstock store in the USA and authored medical textbooks. Her ebook on Natural Remedies for the Flu is available at: http://melanie-grimes.blogspot.com/2009/04/b... Follow her blog at http://melanie-grimes.blogspot.com/ www.melaniegrimes.com