The “cure” for poison ivy itch, scabs, and scratching has been in my lifetime: Calamine Lotion … It does not work! This is the time of the year when the kids have been rolling around in the fields and woods. A day later the redness and itch appears. Then it gets worse and worse. You scratch harder and the blisters run. The physicians say that you cannot spread Poison Ivy this way- NOT. Having been a Poison Ivy devotee for 70 years and raised 16 children, all with the summer misery, the physicians are out of tune, probably immune, and out of touch.
The theory that poison Ivy is an immune system reactionary agent, and it is the bodies own defense system that is causing the problem may be true in textbook laboratory experiments-however Mom’s and Dads really know the score.
We had one girl who was a magnet for the itch. The Poison Ivy oils on a hot day float in the air-yes they do-and she became the attractant. So off the physician and get your standard lectures of recognition, not touching, and here is the bottle of Calamine Lotion. Pay on the way out the door.
To make a long story short we discovered what herbalists have known for a thousand years: Jewel Weed. Impatiens capensis, is a beautiful plant growing along streambeds, and marsh areas with soft green leaves and the most gorgeous orange/yellow flowers.
Being desperate at the time with a 9-year-old blistered girl, unable to go to school, eyes puffy, swollen lips and being one big itch ball, I cut down an armload of Jewel Weed, cut it to fit a big cooking pot and simmered it down to a deep orange liquid. The more orange color the better-I use the entire plant-roots, leaves, stems and flowers. Once cool I dipped clean towels in the pot and spread them out over the affected limbs and face.
Relief was evident. The pain, burning and miserable itch stopped. Being a severe case it took two days and then she was ready to go back to school.
Since then I have had many people come to me seeking advice on the misery of Poison Ivy and in all cases I suggest Jewel Weed.
Jewell Weed lotion may be purchased as a topical from Eats Foods in Blacksburg and probably from a Health Food Store in your area.
Poison Ivy itch does not only appear in the summertime, but also in the wintertime from handling firewood, dogs, cats and work clothes that have been in contact with the dreaded misery. For those souls that cannot get to the store for a bottle of Jewel Weed you can plan ahead.
Procure Grand Ma’s old ice cube trays and freeze up a few (hundred) cubes. We always have half dozen trays on hand. Melt the cube in a gauze wrapper, or light towel, and apply to the affected area.
As a DISCLAIMER I must caution you that Jewel Weed is not an Anti-Bacterial and if the slightest hint of infection, or reaction other than a return to normal-see a MD. We do not always know how clean the affected area is, or was, prior to the “immune reactionary source.”
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COPYRIGHT: 2008, Back2theLand, Mark Steel