This article and its idea came across in a funny way. Well, its funny if you like laughing at my misfortunes at least. The story is pretty simple, while wandering through the bush at some point I have managed to get poison ivy on my hand and face. Not knowing that I came in contact with this irritating little plant, I was not able to wash it off before it had a chance to get to me. The usual way to deal with your poison ivy contact would be to wash the contact area repeatedly, this is a great option when you have access to soap and water. But what if you dont have access to those awesome amenities? Well, did you ever think that lurking in the bush is poison ivy’s worst enemy? Well it is, so lets get into some details and science so that we can understand how this stuff works.
Toxicodendron radicans, better known as Poison Ivy is a poisonous North American plant that is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant that causes an itching rash in most people who touch it. The problem with this nasty substance is that the oils within it can actually form a chemical bond with your skin so that even washing becomes useless and you will still suffer the effects. So now what we need is a substance that can in fact fight what still remains behind, or can fight the oils when you have no access to soap and water. This is where we bring in a good friend Marianne Beacon of Elderberry Herbals. Im always seeking a more natural way to solve health problems and believe me when I say that this woman has a solution for whatever ails you. But to stay on topic with this article I am going to focus solely on our Poison Ivy combattant.
Impatiens Capensis or Jewelweed is a plant that occurs naturally throughout North America and also happens to be an excellent herbal remedy to Poison Ivy. It can often be found near Poison Ivy, but can be hard to identify when flowers have not bloomed on it. Jewelweed is best used after immediate contact to counteract the effects of the oils within the Ivy and prevent them from making their chemical bond with your skin. Once you have started to blister, jewelweed will take much longer to work its magic. What it does do a great job of however is eliminating that nasty itch that comes along with Poison Ivy.
So there it is, spend some time and research this great little plant because in a pinch, it will save your ass. While you’re at it, learn to identify Poison Ivy so that you can just avoid this situation overall, or at least whenever possible.
Category: Tips and Strategies
About the Author (Author Profile)I offer my insights with over a decade of camping and outdoors survival skills. I am well versed in first aid and construction methods based on available supplies and terrain as well as proper methods of usage and design of tools for these purposes. I offer a no fluff, no B.S. opinion on everything I see, do and use.
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- Stoke the Fire 1.4 | THE CAMPSITE | September 9, 2011