It’s camping season—time to beware of poison ivy!
Poison ivy is a plant known for causing an itching, aggravating and sometimes painful rash in nearly everyone who touches it. The plant contains urushiol oil, that once absorbed by the skin, starts the annoying chain of allergic reaction.
It is best to avoid contact with this plant. I am hyper vigilant, in my avoidance of poison ivy.
Knowing how to identify poison ivy is the smartest defense.
Leaves. Poison ivy grows on a vine and has cluster leaves that grow in groups of three. The center leaf has it’s own stem and the side leaves come directly off the main stem.
Berries. Berries form in summer and are cream colored or white ¼ inch balls that hang.
Flowers. The flowers grow in clumps of five and are greyish or white. Poison ivy flowers from May to July.
Wear long sleeves and pants. If our skin doesn’t touch the poison ivy, we’re safe. Always layer up in the woods.
Immediate Response. If we act quickly, after coming into contact with poison ivy, the rash can be prevented. The urushiol oil takes about 10 minutes to absorb into the skin. Poison ivy rash can be easily avoided, if we wash our skin, with soap and water, promptly.
Poison ivy is a total pain to get rid of. Trying to purge ourselves, of the pesky poison ivy rash, can be costly and seemingly impossible. Poison ivy rash is tenacious—it just keeps returning and returning and returning.
The Urushiol oil can stay on surfaces for up to five years! It can stick to fishing poles, the tent, clothes, etc. If we’re exposed to poison ivy, it’s really important to launder our clothes and clean our camping gear.
What if we end up with a poison ivy rash? No problem! The antidote is surprisingly easy.
Drying out the urushiol oil is the key. The best home remedy, to rid the victim of poison ivy rash, is washing the affected area with FelsNaptha.
Fels Naptha is a little known laundry soap bar, commonly found in hardware and grocery stores. It is inexpensive and is also terrific for removing troublesome stains from our laundry.
The Fels Naptha drys out the urushol oil and alleviates the itching that’s caused by the poison ivy. Simply wet and lather the FelsNaptha bar and apply it to the rash every four to five hours. The itch will disappear and healing will be accelerated.
“Poison Ivy tastes like an itch when you have it on your tongue, and I’d say that love tastes the same, only itchier.”~ Jarod Kintz
Preventing poison ivy is the best course of action. If we accidentally stumble upon a patch of poison ivy, the rash is not the end of the world. Thankfully, someone discovered the restorative powers of FelsNaptha. yay!
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Editor: Catherine Monkman