Natural Home Remedies for Poison Ivy-Oak-Sumac

According to the American Skin Association, about 85% of the population is allergic to these plants, which have a sticky oil (urushiol) that causes a rash on exposed skin. A smaller percentage are “extremely allergic.” You might touch some object that was touching the plant, and that’s enough to cause a reaction.


  • Red, itchy skin
  • A rash wherever the oil came into contact with the skin.
  • Later, oozing blisters


  • Itch-relieving lotions (like calamine)
  • Cool showers
  • Prescription drugs for serious reactions from inhalation
  • Oral antihistamine


Wash your skin with cool or lukewarm water immediately after contact.


  • A mixture of bentonite clay, turmeric powder, sandalwood powder, neem powder, comfrey powder and manzanita berry powder
  • A mixture of edible earth missed with calcium carbonate, peppermint oil, salt and distilled water
  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Apple cider vinegar compress for half an hour a few times a day. Do not reuse the material used for the compress.
  • Apple cider vinegar or apple cider vinegar diluted by half with water, topically, a few times each day. Do not use if you have open blisters.
  • Baking soda and water paste
  • Banana peel rubbed on the rash (gently)
  • Bentonite clay
  • Black nightshade plant crushed and mixed with milk (do not use deadly nightshade)
  • Cold water compress
  • Cucumber slices
  • Jewelweed –
  • Lemon juice applied soon after exposure
  • Marie’s Poison Oak soap
  • Milkweed (use the milky juice)
  • Oatmeal bath
  • Pine soap
  • Rubbing alcohol, topically, to dry the rash
  • Tecnu skin cleanser
  • Watermelon rind applied to the rash
  • Witch hazel, topically


Essential oils can be administered administered topically in a carrier oil  (coconut, almond, olive, etc.), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.  Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.

  • Chamomile
  • Eucalyptus
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Myrrh
  • Peppermint
  • Tea tree


  • Acupressure –
  • Acupuncture –
  • Ayurveda –
  • Chinese Medicine –
  • Homeopathy –


  • Avoid scratching, which can lead to infection.
  • Don’t burn poison oak or poison ivy, as the inhaled smoke will likely contain the offending oil (urushiol) and affect your nasal passages, throat and lungs. Urushiol is present in all parts of the plant even after the plant is dead.
  • Even if you don’t react to these plants at the first exposure, you are more likely to develop a rash the second time.
  • If you are going to be in the woods or marshy areas, familiarize yourself with what poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac look like so that you can avoid exposure.
  • If your face or throat swell, call a doctor.
  • If your rash does not clear up in ten days, visit your doctor.
  • If your rash spreads, call a doctor