others are cringing.
Yep, the lovely clusters of three pointy leaves may look innocent...but they are not!
Poison Ivy grows everywhere in Indiana. I've been able to identify it since I was a kid running around the woods in Pennsylvania with my brothers. We would be up to our knees in the stuff, and they would break out in a rash and itch for days. Not me----I seemed to be immune to the nasty vine. I was 'one up' on my brothers...I didn't get poison ivy, and they did....whimps!
For more than 15 years I have removed it from my flower beds---sometimes pulling it with my bare hands---and I never broke out in a horrible rash...never say never.
Three weeks ago, I was mowing the lawn and saw some weeds in my flower bed. I stopped the mower and pulled the weeds and grasses. I picked up the little pile of weeds and within it was a little poison ivy plant.
"No biggie. I don't get it." I tossed the plant and the weeds into the trash bin and continued mowing. When I was finished mowing, I returned to my flower bed and pulled more weeds...found more poison ivy...and noticed its vine wandered into the grass...grass that I had just mowed... Needless to say, I immediately took a shower and hoped that I wouldn't get it.
Day 1: Nothing
Day 2: Nothing
Day 3: Nothing---whew---I stopped worrying
Day 4: Went for a jog and couldn't stop itching my neck. Yep, there was a rash all over my neck. A great big patch of swollen, red, itchiness. I grabbed some 'over the counter' cream from the medicine cabinet and applied. No relief. I texted my brother and asked how long it would last...his reply...10 days...not the answer I was looking for!
An hour later, I was an itchy mess and searched for some knowledge from the internet.
You Tube video by Sigma Survival School.
After watching the video, I was desperate for relief and collected the ingredients:
Plantain Weed leaves
Within an hour and a half, I had my homemade salve, and I applied...
Seriously...it took the itch away almost immediately. I called it my 'miracle balm.'
Here's the video...
You can buy olive oil and beeswax at most stores or pharmacies.
- You cannot spread poison ivy by scratching it.
- You cannot give poison ivy to another person.
- Tough skin, like your hands, won't get it as easily as sensitive skin---such as you neck...
- You may avoid the rash if you thoroughly wash any exposed skin immediately with soap and water.
- You can only get poison ivy from being exposed to the oils from the plant.
- Some people are more sensitive than others. This was why I didn't get it until I mowed it!
- If you do get it, you have the link to the video above:)
- If you have a bad reaction, you can go to your doctor and get prescription medicine.
- The itchy rash can last for 10 to 14 days. Seriously...
- If a pet walks through poison ivy and then a human touches the animal, the oils from the nasty plant can transfer, and the person may get the rash.
- If you get the poison ivy oil on your clothing, you must wash it. The oils can transfer to your skin.
- You can get a low grade fever along with the bumpy, blistery rash.
- The affected area may swell.
- It can take up to a week (and sometimes longer) for the rash to appear after exposure. This delay is why people think they are 'spreading' the rash by itching. Not true. It usually appears on sensitive skin first and then on the tougher arms/legs/hands/feet later.
- What can I say...the rash is ugly!
- People will avoid you (like you have the plague) thinking you are contagious--even though you are not.
- If you do scratch, (believe me...there is a sense of gratification in tearing your fingernails into the ugly, blistery bumps) you can infect the area with the invisible bacteria under your fingernails. Not a good idea.
Got any Poison Ivy stories? Now that I'm not itching, and the marks are fading, I'm able to talk about it without censoring my speech.
Enjoy the summer!