I am an avid runner – the deeper into nature I can venture, the better. Because of this affinity for connecting with trees, plants, sunshine & nature while I get my workout on, I find myself dealing with poison ivy at least once a year.
Last week I was struck again (for the 3rd time since I’ve lived in Austin) but this time the poison ivy set up on my right eye, all around my nose, upper lip and left hip – don’t even ask ☺.
When my eye first started to swell I thought it may be a food allergy but considering I pretty much eat the same 10 things every day, that didn’t seem likely.
Here I am at work with a homemade eye patch (thanks Brady!) as the swelling began:
By that evening, this is what I looked like (as you can see, I’m no longer smiling!):
I ran to CVS panicking, I was pacing the aisles arms full of Benedryl, calamine lotion, cortisol cream and the likes. A small voice came over me and said kindly, “Carly, what in the hell are you doing?!” I live and teach a real, natural lifestyle and here I am in straight up freak-out-mode with arms full of chemicals. I slowly put the boxes down, backed away from the CVS and drove away determined to find a natural poison ivy treatment.
4 days later, here I am (still a little swollen on the right eye but I’m getting there!):
MY REMEDY KIT
So despite all the advice to go immediately to the doctor or fill my body with unnecessary chemicals, here is how I cured myself naturally:
1. Colloidal Silver (affiliate link) – Colloidal Silver is a liquid mineral supplement that fights infection and is otherwise known as “nature’s antibiotic.”
I took 10 drops 2 – 3 times a day for 1 week to help boost my immune system.
In a special report written by Dr. Alex Duarte, he cited the following uses for Colloidal Silver:
External Infections: eye, ear, nose and throat infections, dental infections, sinus infections, poison oak, poison ivy, rashes, burns, cuts, bites, athletes foot, fungal infections (including athlete’s foot), acne, diabetic ulcers, and bed sores.
Internal Infections: common cold, allergy, Asthma, Bronchitis, Pneumonia, fevers, Herpes infections, Hepatitis, Epstein- Barr, yeast infections, vaginal infections, bladder infections, middle-ear infections, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Hemorrhoids, Influenza, intestinal troubles, Nasal Catarrh, Tuberculosis, boils, Meningitis, Chronic Eczema, Colitis, Diarrhea, Enlarged Prostate, Tonsillitis, Rhinitis, Strep Throat, Sprue, Staphylococcus Infections, Ringworm, Typhoid, Whooping Cough, Shingles and Warts. (From http://www.discoverynews.us)
2. Tea Bags – I utilized tea bags by soaking them in hot water for just a few moments (to saturate the tea) and then using them as a compress on the poison ivy. I would wrap the tea bag in a thin washcloth and then apply it to my eye. This was extremely soothing – I did the warm tea compress 2 – 3 times each day while my eye was still inflamed.
3. Witch Hazel (affiliate link) – A gentle, soothing astringent. Since the poison ivy was all around my eye, nose and lip I used a cotton ball or Q-tip to spot treat the area of poison ivy. It’s cooling and helps relieve the itch immediately.
4. Aloe Vera (affiliate link) – This can be applied liberally to the area to relieve itch and assist with healing.
5. Jewelweed (affiliate link)– Jewelweed is nature’s antidote to poison ivy but not so easy to find.
“The single most effective remedy for exposure to poison ivy or poison oak may be a plant closely related to the popular garden plants known as impatiens.
Jewelweed, or Impatiens capensis, has long been used as a remedy for skin disorders by indigenous North Americans. It apparently contains chemicals that neutralize the components responsible for the skin-irritating effects of poison oak, poison ivy and other irritants including stinging nettle, insect bites and ringworm. Folk remedies also recommend jewelweed poultices as a treatment for minor injuries such as bruises, cuts, burns, sores, sprains, and warts.”
6. Rest – Rest & I don’t have a very solid relationship. I am an extremely busy on-the-go type of gal and get antsy when I don’t feel like I’m being productive. While healing, I gave myself 3 days of grace to rest, relax, get lost in movies and read a book front to back. Amazing and beneficial! I was a new woman by day four.
For more all-natural home remedies for everything from colds and flus to pink eye and eczema, check out this post.