10 Natural Remedies for Poison Ivy

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on

Poison ivy on a tree branch. Baking soda baths, aloe vera, and oatmeal paste are great natural remedies for poison Ivy.Poison ivy rash occurs when the plant toxin, urushiol (one of the deadliest natural poisons on the planet) comes into contact with human skin. It is a condition characterized by swelling, blisters, pain and an amazing amount of itching.

Besides intense itching and pain, the effects of rubbing up against this poisonous plant may also manifest as red bumps, intense sensations of burning and irritation, as well as fever. The appearance of the symptoms can be between anywhere from a few hours to seven or ten days after the original contact with the plant.

Poison ivy rash can then spread rapidly during the first three days, especially when you scratch the affected area. And while poison ivy is usually a mild condition, it can cause great suffering if left untreated.

Luckily, just as nature has cursed us with this naughty leaf, nature has also provided many natural remedies for poison ivy. The following article will outline a few of my favorite natural remedies for poison ivy.

1. Baking Soda Baths & Pastes

Found in most kitchens, common baking soda is a great natural remedy for the itchiness associated with a poison ivy rash. To help relieve itching, place 1/2 a cup of baking soda in a bath tub filled with warm water. You can also mix 3 teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water and mix until it forms a paste. Apply this paste to the infected area to relieve itching and irritation that’s associated with a poison ivy rash.

2. Oatmeal Paste

Cook a small amount of oatmeal and apply it directly to the skin as a paste. Make sure to cook it very thick so that the paste will stick to the skin. Some sources recommend putting the oatmeal on the skin while it is very warm, as the heat from the oatmeal will eventually cool, leaving the skin dry and relieved. Make sure not to apply the oatmeal when it is too hot, as this can easily burn the skin. You may also try mixing in a teaspoon of baking soda, for an extra itch-relieving effect.

3. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Apply a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar directly to the infected skin. Apple Cider Vinegar has a toxin-pulling action that helps suck the poison out of the pores. You can also create a warm vinegar compress using a thin cotton towel. Reapply to the skin as needed.

Poison Ivy Remedy - Aloe Vera

4. Aloe Vera Gel

An ancient curative remedy for the skin, aloe vera can be used directly on the infected area. You can buy a high-quality organic version at most health-food stores, or even better, buy a plant and use the gel from inner flesh of the leaves. External use of organic aloe vera juice may also help, but is not as effective as the gel.

5. Organic Goldenseal

Mix a small amount of powdered goldenseal root with a small amount of hot water. Rub this paste on the affected skin to help reduce the chances of infection. For quickest results, try drinking goldenseal tea or taking a goldenseal supplement. This remedy can also help with poison oak.

6. Himalayan Crystal Salt

Remember, poison ivy is a condition that causes the skin to become wet and red. Salt is an excellent natural remedy, as it is drying for the skin, and will pull both the excess water and the poison from the body. Make a paste using purified water and Himalayan Salt. You can also take a warm salt bath. I’d recommend putting a cup of Himalayan Crystal Salt into the bath tub and soak in it for at least 20 minutes.

7. Organic Witch Hazel

Dabbing a small amount of witch hazel tonic on the infected area offers both cleansing and itch-relief. Witch hazel can be found at most drugstores.

8. Banana Peel

It may sound strange, but many old-wives tales swear by the power of a banana peal for poison ivy. Simply rub the inside of a banana peel on the affected area. This is possibly related to the cooling effect the banana peel has on the rash.

9. Organic Cucumber

This green veggie is very cooling. Making a cucumber paste and applying it to the skin helps bring soothing relief to heated itching. For easy itch relief, slice a piece of a cucumber off and let it dry on the affected area.

10. Watermelon Rind

Similar to the cooling cucumber, watermelon is also cold on the skin and can help provide itch relief for the poison ivy rash.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Jim

    Last time I got a poison ivy rash, I was itching for days! The only thing that really helped was applying oatmeal paste, as you desribe above. It really does help with the itching.

  • Marc Strtton

    Within the first two or three hours after contact with Ivy, gently but
    thoroughly rub area with a crushed leaf of the broad-leafed weed
    PLANTAIN. Works for me every time.

    Poison Ivy rash can be transmitted from the smoke of a fire that may
    have some of the leaves burning in it.

  • joe

    jewelweed is the best antidote for ivy, if overused the steric acid will burn, so use it once and lay off, the swelling and oozing subside rapidly, the discoloration will remain for a week. it grows near water, called silver touch me not for a reason. easy to find, grows in same places ivy grows.

  • Robyn

    I’ve used all of the above, and one more to add to the list is hemmhoroid pads. Don’t laugh. They work.

  • Dickson

    Wash with Fel’s Naptha soap after exposure. Use it to wash contaminated clothes, too. It’s cheap, available everywhere, and has a LONG shelf life. Most folks I know would simply be happy to avoid the itching and irritation… Natural or not.

  • dogg

    All of these are okay “remedies.” However, none of them will actually stop and reverse the poison ivy. I have found one thing that will. Magnesium Oil. At the first sign of the poison ivy bump or blister, scratch it open and rub in magnesium oil. The attack will end there.

  • Alternative Cure

    You can also put a towel soak with hot water, an endurable heat that can relieve those affected itchy parts. You can rub on them, they can give relief too.

  • Alkaline Foods

    Yes, poison ivy and poison oak can be annoying if you get contact with them. An apple cider vinegar applied to the affected part may help too.

  • Barbara

    There is Witch Hazel in the pads

  • JG

    before you leave the woods wash the affected area right away with good old fashioned earth, this is the best ive ever used I am a woodsman that plays in the woods for work all year long and earth works best to rid your skin of the oils of poison ivy, also alcohol works to disapate the oils.



  • Linda Filippone

    Plain white vinegar works for me. As soon as I notice it I start putting vinegar with a cotton ball on it immediately. Each time the itch starts I repeat it. The vinegar stops it from spreading and slowly makes it disappear. I recently had poison ivy on my foot, wrist, and ankle. Treated it with vinegar and it’s gone now.

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  • susan dechant

    according to everything I have read, the rash will not ‘spread’ from scratching….it may continue to appear over days from the contact with the oils, but the rash itself does not contain the poison, only the plant oil itself

  • steph

    Do I need to go to doctor

  • steph

    I have a 5yr old that came in contact with it?? Wat do u think

  • Candy

    I tried everything and what worked for me was good old fashioned toothpaste. I was loosing my mind with the irritating itch and I was doing the alcohol rubs, the lotion, etc. Once I tried toothpaste the itching stopped immediately. Go figure!!!!

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  • Lorena Cruz

    I have tried alot of home remedies and store itch creams… what works for me.. is bleach…just put some on a rag and rub it on the affected area.. it might burn but it will stop the itching

  • Michael Cabrera

    Where do u buy?

  • eva

    super dangerous…if those blisters are popped and bleach enters ur blood stream ur in trouble….do not do this especially to children

  • Eva

    my children are both higky allergic and pretty much at the sign of an outbreak we head to urgent care and they are both given prednisone which is a steroid and it’s gone in 2 or 3 days (my kids are 9 and 6 and we never go a summer without at least one trip)

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  • Cat

    Yes a steroid shots is always what is best for me..its guaranteed to go away quick

  • Greg

    fact check: urushiol is not one of the deadliest poisons on earth, it’s not even a poison. The blisters are allergic reactions that only 85% of humans have to the substance. Chimps don’t even have it. Most animals can eat these plants. Helpful tips though! I sure do hate these blisters

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  • Celticmutt

    not laughing at all….a little hemmerroid cream under the the eyes brings down swollen bags almost completely. Let sit for about 10-20 mins before wiping off. And of course, don’t wipe it in your eyes and keep, it kind of goes without saying, buy a separate tube for the eyes only! I’m using Pepto Bismol on my poison ivy every few hours or after I wash my hands. It takes away the crazy itch after about 5 minutes. Lay it on thick though.

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  • Bruce Alberts

    poison ivy does not “spread” unless the oil from the plant is still on your skin. Once the oil from the plant is washed thoroughly from your skin it will not spread to other parts of your body from itching or even if the blisters are “popped” and the pus from them touches other parts of your skin. Also, it is not contagious. In other words, you can not transmit it to other people or even your pets. These are common myths about poison ivy, oak, and sumac that are just not true.

  • Bruce Alberts


  • Janie Whitley

    It burns awful until the soothing starts..

  • Janie Whitley

    Mine is called Dead sea magnesium oil and I buy from Amazon.. It really works but is painful for about 10-15 minutes and started before it gets infected.

  • Ellepeep

    I have heard this before, but when I scratch mine, I could swear it spreads. And where my arm touches my husband, he gets it. This doesn’t make sense to me…that it cannot spread. I have had this for weeks! Gonna try all these remedies!

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