Gardening, pruning, lawn care, and other outdoor activities may put you uncomfortably close to a poisonous plant. This time of year: poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and other less common allergenic plants are full of an oily sap, known as Urushiol. These plants grow in every state throughout the US, except Alaska. Direct contact with any portion of a plant containing the poisonous sap can produce irritating symptoms that typically last for one to two weeks.
Keeping an eye out for these plants, and avoiding contact is the best way to prevent getting poison ivy. Poison ivy generally grows as a vine, and can be identified by its cluster of three leaves. The leaves on Poison oak resemble lobed oak leaves. It grows in threes on a bush, instead of a vine. Poisonous sumac grows as a small tree or bush, and has an odd number of leaves, ranging from seven to thirteen. Poison ivy thrives in partially shaded areas.
You can also get poison ivy by touching a gardening tool, gloves, or clothing that made contact with the plant’s oily sap. Petting your dog or cat, after it brushed against the plant, is another way to get poison ivy.
Some people are more sensitive, and susceptible to poison ivy than others. How your body responds depends on the immune system. A mild case of poison ivy usually clears within a week. The rash and itching may spread to various parts of your body during the process. In more severe cases, there may be blisters, a burning, itchy, red rash, fever, and swelling. Scratching the itching rash is difficult to avoid, but doing so can cause inflammation, and the rash spreading to other parts of your body. Seek a physician’s care for severe cases of poison ivy, especially those that involve swelling and fever.
How to Prevent, Relieve and Heal Mild Poison Ivy –
Try one or more of these natural home remedies.
Stock your herbal medicine cabinet with the above healing products, so they will be there as soon as needed. The sooner you start treatment, the better. I had mild poison ivy recently. No blisters, fever, or swelling, just a mild rash and a little itching that I was able to curtail using many of the remedies listed above. Fortunately, we keep most of these items on hand.
Here's to enjoying the great outdoors and taming your landscape this summer without suffering a bout of poison ivy.
About the Author:
Deborah Tukua is a nonfiction author, and editor of Journey to Natural Living. She is author of seven books including, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats: 55 Fresh from the Blender Recipes, and Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success. Deborah has been a regular lifestyle feature writer for the Farmers' Almanac since 2004.
Itching from a mosquito or tick bite? You don't have to walk deep into the woods, or wade through tall grass to come in contact with ticks or mosquitoes. Weeding the flower bed, dining on the patio, and playing fetch with the dog, are activities we enjoy outside. Pesky insects are also active outdoors during warm weather.
Prevention is the best way to avoid the irritating bite, the itching, and the devastating effects of Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tick-borne diseases. We want to prevent the likelihood of contracting West Nile virus and encephalitis (inflammation of brain tissue) from virus carrying mosquitoes as well. Ticks and mosquitoes may be out in full force, but there are natural remedies that are safer to use than Deet, we can buy or make to fend them off.
After getting numerous tick bites early this spring, I began researching all the scents that repel ticks, and combined several in a DIY tick and mosquito repellent. I spray it on my shoes, legs and arms just before going on my morning walk outdoors, or when mowing our acreage of grass.
In the evenings, we enjoy star gazing outside on the patio. A light mist on our arms and legs keeps the mosquitoes away. This spray smells so good, it could double as fragrant air freshener.
Here's the concoction we've found successful in keeping ticks and mosquitoes off.
When you smell it, you'll say, I can't believe its not perfume!
All-Natural Tick & Mosquito Spray Repellent
Add the following ingredients to a spray bottle:
1 1/2 cups Purified Water
1 ounce Apple Cider Vinegar
10 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops of Citronella essential oil
5 drops of Rose Geranium essential oil
5 drops Cinnamon essential oil
Cap and shake gentle to combine ingredients. Avoid spraying on face or near the eyes. You can also spray this repellent on patio furniture to keep bugs off.
What to do when returning from a walk outside
If you see a tick crawling on your clothing, or have ventured into a known tick infested area...
About the Author:
Deborah Tukua is the editor of Journey to Natural Living and the author of the healthy fresh from the blender recipe book, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She is a freelance writer for the Farmers' Almanac and Chiropractic Economics magazine and author of the book, Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success.
Articles and recipes by natural living and healthy lifestyle author and writer,
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