The EclecticPhysician

The Eclectic Physician
Natural Health Care
by Beth Burch N.D.

Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac-

A contact dermatitis which results from contact with the irritating oil, urushiol found in the poison oak family. Not all people are sensitive, many are highly sensitive. It is not necessary to directly contact the plant, contact with clothing or a pet that has the resinous oil on it can produce the characteristic rash. Even breathing the smoke of burning plants can cause a reaction in some people. Poison ivy and sumac are prevalent on the East Coast, poison oak on the West Coast. Washing with soap and water or even just water within fifteen minutes of contact will prevent the rash. If not washed off, it can take from 4 hours to 10 days to have a reaction. The rash can be just simple redness, or there can be blisters. It usually itches and burns. If the blisters are broken, then crusts will form. It is not contagious.

Jewelweed- Applied soon after exposure, it binds to the skin preventing the urushiol from binding. Fresh plant juice or liquid extract made from fresh plant is the most effective.

Gumweed- The liquid extract from diluted with a little water makes a good lotion to apply to the rash.

* The information presented in this web site is intended to inform and educate. It is not intended replace a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose or treat medical conditions.

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