Best Essential Oils for Poison Ivy – Top 5 List

Essential Oils for Poison Ivy

Despite what most people believe, not everyone has an allergic reaction to poison ivy, the inconspicuous looking plant that strikes fear into the hearts of trail hikers everywhere. As many as fifteen percent of people don’t have any reaction to contact with the plant, but an overwhelming majority do. It’s actually the plant’s oils that are responsible for the resulting irritation after contact, and poison sumac and poison oak both contain the same reaction triggering oil and while these in particular can have adverse effects, using essential oils for poison ivy may have some benefits in terms of reducing symptoms.

The symptoms associated with poison ivy can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, and an itchy rash is the most present and notable symptom for most people. Additional symptoms include inflammation, burning, swelling, red marks and weeping or leaking blisters. Using essential oils for poison ivy will not stop the reaction to the poison, nor will it shorten its course. However, some attest that using essential oils for poison ivy may be effective in some aspects of symptom management.

Though historically essential oils uses have included everything from purported disease management to outright curing conditions, most of their day to day use was with regards reducing or eliminating unpleasant symptoms. Reducing inflammation is perhaps one of the oldest and most valuable of all essential oils uses, but it’s not the only one that may be applicable in cases of plant related reactions. It’s also been suggested that essential oils for poison ivy may be useful in drying out weeping poison ivy blisters, relieving any pain that might be presents, and soothing burning sensations or other discomfort.

There are some things to remember before using essential oils for poison ivy, however. Some oils that are recommended by those in the healing community are very powerful, and if skin is broken or open, no oils should be applied topically if indicated. Additionally, before using any of the top five oils found below, consult with a healthcare provider.

1. Tea Tree: This powerful oil is probably best known as a natural antiseptic and astringent and many people use it as a means to ward off the cold and flu. But, those same properties combined with powerful anti inflammatory properties also make it ideal in persons with poison ivy. Tea tree oil is safe to apply neat in most cases, however because the skin can be quite sensitive when reacting to poison ivy, dilution with a carrier oil may be more appropriate.

2. Lavender: Unfortunately nowadays, lavender is known for little more than being a powerful natural relaxant and it’s certainly one of the very best in that regard. Other properties lavender boasts may be overlooked, however. It’s considered a natural pain reliever and anti inflammatory, and is incredibly gentle for neat topical use and the aroma arising from the application site is thought to have soothing benefits as well.

3. Peppermint: One of the reasons that peppermint is so widely used in foods and other products is because of its natural cooling sensation, which just so happens to be what makes it one of the best essential oils for poison ivy. Burning is a common symptom of the condition’s irritation, and applying peppermint to the reflex points at the bottom of the feet may spread this relief throughout the body, according to some in the alternative healing community. Further, diluting three drops of peppermint oil with one tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and water as well as half a teaspoon of salt can not only help provide some soothing relief but also drying out of weeping blisters as well.

4. Cypress: Oil from the common conifer may hold astringent, antibacterial and antibiotic properties making it useful in helping heal broken skin. These traits are also what have made it particularly useful in a wide range of skin care applications. For application, it should be used in a one or two percent dilution because it may irritate the skin of some people.

5. Juniper Berry: Anecdotally, this evergreen’s oil was used for numerous digestive issues and conditions like arthritis and diabetes. Many of its healing effects were related to its natural diuretic properties. However, it’s also noted as useful in skin conditions like acne and eczema because it’s thought to help reduce inflammation, making it possibly useful among essential oils for poison ivy.