Coming into contact with poison ivy can lead to days or even weeks of annoying discomfort to serious limitations on mobility.
While it’s easy to go to the store and buy a topical remedy, what will you do if they are not available during a SHTF situation?
Fortunately, you can make your own remedy with some plants that are probably readily available and store it for years. Having this on hand during a time when resources are scarce can help to ease symptoms and promote healing.
Gathering the Items
All you need are the leaves and stems of a few common plants, some vinegar and a mason jar. You want to gather a small bunch of garden Impatiens, fresh sage and plantain leaves. Plantains are almost as popular as bananas, and can be found in many standard as well as ethnic grocery stores and markets. Choose leaves and stems that are as fresh as possible as they still contain the maximum amount of nutrients that make this recipe work.
Cut the leaves and stems into smaller pieces, around an inch or two in size, and dip them in a bowl of vinegar before placing them in the mason jar. You don’t have to pack them in tightly or fill the jar to the top with the plants. Once all of the plants have been added, slowly pour the vinegar into the jar, making sure that no air bubbles get trapped between or beneath the leaves and stems. Take a spoon or spatula and gently press down on the greens in order to extract any excess air.
Fill the vinegar to the top of the jar, just below where the lid will be attached. Secure the lid and store the jar at room temperature away from direct sunlight. The key to this remedy is to allow the ingredients to sit and mingle for a couple of weeks in order to maximize potency. Once the oils have been transfused into the liquid, remove the lid from the jar and pour the mixture through a strainer.
Storage and Use
You can store the remedy in medicine or spray bottles as well as smaller jars depending on your needs. When needed, dab a cotton ball or piece of cloth and soak it in the liquid. Apply over the affected area and let it soak into the rash. Expect to experience some burning as the antiseptic qualities of the remedy take place, but it should dissipate within a minute. You should notice a decrease in the itching and burning almost immediately, but you will want to keep applying the solution on a regular basis until the skin begins to heal.
This remedy is not as effective as most commercially available products, but this recipe does do the trick in a pinch. The key is to make a batch ahead of time, so it will be ready when the need arises. Remember that you want to keep the affected area as clean and dry as possible, so frequent washing and reapplication may be necessary for a few days.