Poison Ivy and Its Cure

We’ve all encountered this itchy weed and there are some nifty sayings meant to help in identification.

  • Leaves of three? Let it be!
  • Hairy Vine, no friend of mine!
  • red leaflets in spring is a dangerous thing.

I’ve spent many years eradicating poison ivy from the property; not talking about spraying but actually digging up the roots! So when I discovered this HUGE plant growing into an old apple tree, I just kind of Uncle’d. I cut the stalk close to the base and will, at some point, dawn my long sleevedness and dig this up!

So, you’ve misjudged and are now itchy. I’ve read somewhere that where poison ivy grows, it’s a cure is close by. There are two plants that help to dry up this itchy rash; jewelweed and broomsedge. Jewelweed is seasonal while broomsedge is year-round.

Growing up, if we managed to wander into Mr. Itchy, Mom would brew up some broomsedge tea for us to apply to the blisters to dry them up very quickly. I’ll add a word of caution; because this is super drying (astringent), don’t apply it everywhere as your skin will feel very tight.

Broomsedge is a grass that one sees growing in fields and vacant lots. You really only need one plant, roots and all. Mom didn’t use measurements for this, so there is a lot of eye-balling involved.

  • Dig up just enough of the plant to get the roots then shake off as much of the dirt as you can – no need to wash the roots. Be sure to thank the earth and the plant!
  • Place the plant, roots to tip, into a saucepan and cover with water and bring to a boil.
  • Once the boil has been reached, turn off and let steep until the water is room temperature.
  • Remove the plant and compost or return to the earth.
  • Strain the remaining tea for any leftover bits/dirt/gravel.
  • Place tea in the fridge and apply with a clean cotton ball/pad.
  • When finished, pour any leftover tea into the ground.

You are welcome! =)

Did your Mom or Granny have an old time cure she would use to help you through the itch? If so, please share.

Live well.

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