Poison Ivy

Ava’s Story

When I saw this on Ava when she was 3.5 years old, I couldn’t figure it out. It didn’t look like staph but then it started to weep a little which indicates infection. After a few days it dawned on me that I was seeing poison ivy for the first time and then I realized that Ava probably got it from our yard! Not the brightest bulb sometimes..

Ava had it for a couple of days before I started to treat it. Using the below, it resolved easily.  Within 24 hours, the weeping had pretty much cleared up and within 2 days it looked significantly better. I wasn’t taking notes at that time, but I think that it was completely gone within a week and a half to 2 weeks.

Ava’s Protocol

img_7264 img_3586Topical

I rotated all of the below. You would not have to use all of them but I had them on hand. My top 2 picks would be bentonite clay and lavender and cypress oil.

  1. Bentonite clay paste (in picture on left) – bentonite clay is fantastic at binding to toxins and drawing out infection. I also use this to get splinters out. You can also put bentonite clay in the bath tub to help draw out infection. After I put this on, puss came out.
  2. Lavender and cypress essential oil – I combined these 50:50 and made a dilution of 10% (10 drops essential oil to 100 drops carrier).
  3. Black walnut oil by Nature’s Sunshine – the herbalist Dr. John Christopher used black walnut externally and internally for all skin ailments and called it his miracle worker. It is a potent anti-parasitic, antifungal, antiviral and insecticide. In addition to poison ivy, it is good for boils, abscesses, ring worm, athletes foot, tooth decay, gingivitivis, eczema, dandruff, canker sores, herpes and parasites[1].
  4. Spilanthes – possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties making it a good purifying herb for disinfecting wounds and for fungal infections such as ringworm. I used this both topically and internally. Basically I would drip a few drops on the poison ivy spots and also give Ava drops of the tincture. This is a favorite of Dr Michele Sayball’s for treating poison ivy.
  5. Grindelia – also known as sticky gumweed, this is another Dr Michele favorite. I also used this both internally and externally. Native Americans made extensive use of it. Gum from the pounded flowerheads was applied to poison ivy inflammations and taken internally to relieve coughing and congestion. When Ava had poison ivy, she also had a cough so I loved that grindelia was pulling double duty for her!


  1. BP-X – This powerful blend by Nature’s Sunshine is a traditional blood purifier (hence the “BP”) formula created by the famous herbalist, Dr John Christopher. It contains burdock root, yellow dock, dandelion which all support the the liver and are also blood purifiers which will help cleanse the body of the toxins from the poison ivy. This blend also contains red clover, another potent blood purifier and lymphagogue (promotes lymph flow). BP-X has been used as a remedy for skin eruptive diseases and problems with the liver and gallbladder. It stimulates the flow of bile to clean the liver and gallbladder.[2]  In addition to poison ivy, BP-X has been used for abscesses, acne, blood poisoning, boils, eczema, psoriasis, rashes and hives. It also helps maintain healthy bowel function. This is suitable for children over 2 years old (in appropriate dosing, of course). This is not suitable during pregnancy or while nursing because it is a detoxifier.
  2. Liver cleanse – this support the liver in throwing off the toxins.In addition to helping the liver, this is also a blood purifier and strengthens the kidneys. Also helpful for constipation and hangovers.[3]
  3. Probiotics – the gut houses 70% of the immune system. Give the body good bacteria to fight the bad bacteria. Probiotics first thing I give in the morning and the last thing I give at night, so the body can utilize them to heal as the body sleeps.
  4. Liposomal Vitamin C – this is a very potent form of the antioxidant, Vitamin C. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals which cause damage in the body. Vitamin C is a great overall immune booster helping the body fight off whatever attack is going on.Vitamin C is water soluble and just like oil and water don’t mix, Vitamin C has a hard time penetrating the cell membrane which is composed of fatty acids. This incompatibility means that Vitamin C is not easily assimilated and utilized within the cell. Estimates of Vitamin C absorption into the blood stream are around 20%. By wrapping the Vitamin C in a fat (lypo) that mimics the cell wall structure, liposomal Vitamin C is significantly better absorbed, with some estimates ranging higher than 90%.

Helpful but I didn’t use it..

  • Anacardium orientale 30C – This is a common poison ivy homeopathic remedy favored by renowned homeopath Joette Calabrese. Note, if you do not see improvement after 2-4 doses of this remedy, it should be discontinued.
  • Rhus tox 30C – Rhus tox is a common remedy for poison ivy because it is actually produced from poison ivy. This is est in sever outbreaks and when a person is particularly susceptible to poison ivy. Give about 3 pellets under the tongue every 3–4 hours as needed. Take for no more than 3 days. Rhus tox has the potential to desensitize you from poison ivy so that you will be less likely to get it and when you do, outbreaks will be less severe. Note, if you do not see improvement after 2-4 doses of this remedy, it should be discontinued.
  • Silver shield
  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Jewelweed lotion
  • Plantain poultice


[1], [2] and [3] The Comprehensive Guide to Nature’s Sunshine Products by Steven Horne and Kimberly Balas.