Natural Remedies for Poison Ivy – Essential Oil
Poison Ivy (Rhus radicans L.), is a low growing, occasionally climbing plant that can be found in forests, the edges of woodlands, in meadows, along fence lines and roadsides. The plant can be identified by three leaflets at the end of a stalk. The middle stalk is longer in length than the other two leaflets. The leaves of the poison ivy are purplish to reddish in spring (May to early June), bright green and shiny in summer, and turn a vivid orange-red or wine-red in autumn.1
Parts of the plant, leaves, stems and roots contain an oil known as urushiol, which can cause an irritating inflammation on the skin. Blistering and intense itching may also occur. The onset of most symptoms occurs about 12-72 hours after coming into contact with the plant.1
It has been found that there are several essential oils for poison ivy rash which can aid in the treatment of skin irritating symptoms. One should wash the affected areas and seek out poison ivy essential oil relief methods. However, if you have excessive swelling, trouble breathing or swallowing, it’s important you seek medical care immediately.
Essential Oils for Poison Ivy
What essential oil is good for poison ivy? There are several natural remedies for poison ivy including essential oils that contain anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and cooling properties. The following 13 essential oils may help reduce typical skin-related symptoms caused by poison ivy contact.
Coffee Essential Oil
One of the most beneficial components of coffee essential oil is kahweol, which has been demonstrated to behave as an anti-inflammatory compound. It inhibits chemical messengers which promote inflammation such as cyclooxygenase 2 and monocyte chemoattract protein-1.
Lavender Essential Oil
The benefits of lavender essential oil have been extensively studied in recent years. While traditionally used for its calming properties, lavender essential oil may also assist with pain control. When oxygen infused with lavender essential oil was given to post-biopsy patients, they reported better pain control than patients who received normal oxygen.
Palmarosa Essential Oil
In a 2014 study on the benefits of palmarosa essential oil, it was found that all concentrations of palmarosa essential oil demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects on isolated cells. Traditionally used as a topical anti-inflammatory agent, diluted palmarosa essential oil may be gently applied to the affected area.
Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Alleviating inflammation is one of the most valuable benefits of carrot seed essential oil. In a 2016 study, it was found to decrease nitric oxide production by 19%. Nitric oxide is believed to aid in the inflammation process. Carrot seed oil may be used as an essential oil for poison ivy rash by applying it to an area affected.
Cardamom Essential Oil
There are several beneficial qualities of cardamom essential oil including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. In a clinical study, cardamom essential oil was found to have stronger anti-inflammatory properties than a commonly used synthetic drug. It has also been found to have pain-relieving properties, which can be used for therapeutic relief through massage.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia tree, the benefits of tea tree essential oil are often attributed to its antiseptic and antibacterial qualities. When mixed with a carrier oil, tea tree essential oil can be used as a topical agent to treat infections and improve the overall appearance of skin.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Both Roman and German chamomile essential oil can be used as effective essential oils for relief from poison ivy rash. Several clinical studies have documented the benefits of chamomile essential oil which include antibacterial properties and significant anti-inflammatory activity. These beneficial properties have been attributed to its diverse range of bioactive flavonoids.
Rose Essential Oil
Rose essential oil’s valuable qualities include being anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. When applied topically, it’s been noted for its soothing effect and is recommended as an essential oil for poison ivy. Dilute rose essential oil with a carrier oil and gently apply to the affected area for a soothing effect.
Myrrh Essential Oil
The benefits of myrrh essential oil have been documented throughout history, and today, can be used topically for a number of ailments. Recent scientific research has noted its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects which may help relieve skin sores and wounds, such as a rash caused by poison ivy.
Bergamot Essential Oil
If the rash has scabbed over, the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of bergamot essential oil may promote healing and help reduce scarring. In a 2007 study, bergamot essential oil was noted for its strong anti-inflammatory properties which were comparable to the effects of a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug.
Pine Essential Oil
Recent clinical studies on pine essential oil have discovered its ability to reduce nitric acid production and reduce inflammation. Pine essential oil has several health benefits and may aid in reducing soreness and redness commonly associated with poison ivy dermal symptoms.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Because of eucalyptus essential oil’s antibacterial properties, it has traditionally been used to clean wounds. In a recent scientific study, eucalyptus essential oil was observed to be a powerful disinfecting agent against bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
Helichrysum Essential Oil
One of helichrysum essential oil’s top benefits is that it is antibacterial. For this reason, it can be used topically on cuts, scrapes, bruises, swelling, and rashes to help prevent infection and speed up the healing process.
Essential Oil Mixtures
While single essential oils may provide poison ivy relief, users can mix several essential oils for the treatment of a poison ivy rash. It is best to use mixtures which cover anti-inflammatory, pain-relief and itchiness caused by rashes.
For example, users can combine 3 drops each of lavender oil, chamomile oil, and helichrysum oil with a carrier oil, and gently apply to the affected area.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. (2017). Ontario Weeds: Poison Ivy. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/ontweeds/poison_ivy.htm – View reference