Spring is here and the ground is bursting with young green plants of all kinds, including the dreaded poison ivy. I’ve been severely allergic to poison ivy for years, and just the sight of this plant makes my skin crawl!
I’ve become pretty good at spotting and identifying poison ivy and usually do a pretty good job at keeping far away from it. But you don’t have to come in contact with the actual plant to have a reaction. My worst rashes have always come indirectly from touching something that has had contact with the poison ivy plant: firewood, dogs, family members’ clothes after they went hiking, the goats, etc.
Ok, I’ve never shown these photos before, but so you don’t think I’m exaggerating, here are two examples of my bouts with poison ivy. As you can see in the first picture, my arms were so swollen, I couldn’t bend them. In the second picture of my leg, you can see how red and “burnt” looking my rashes were. Each year, the rashes grew worse; these were no longer normal poison ivy rashes.
Thankfully, I have come across a natural remedy for poison ivy that works so well that I have to share. If you start this regimen as soon as you realize you are breaking out with a poison ivy rash, you can almost eliminate the swelling and itching.
I first came across this information in Be Your Own “Doctor” by Rachel Weaver, M. H. two years ago when I had my last major poison ivy attack.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try it then, because by the time I had found and purchased the needed supplements, my rash had spread to over 60% of my body. As much as I wanted to try a natural remedy, I decided to go to the doctor and get my usual dose of prednisone.
But now I had the supplements in the cupboard, ready and waiting for the inevitable next time.
Amazingly, it wasn’t till the next spring till I came down with the rash again. I woke up one morning with my right eye half swollen shut. My first reaction was to almost start crying. My second, more rational thought was to grab Weaver’s book.
The Vitamins for Poison Ivy
For poison ivy, Weaver suggests taking one capsule of Pantothenic Acid (b5) and 1,000 Mg of vitamin C (I use this brand)
every 15 minutes for two hours. Then take the same dose every two hours for the rest of the day.
At the end of my first two hours of taking the supplements, I could already see the swelling was going down. By the end of the day, the swelling was almost completely gone. The next morning, my eye lids had swollen up a bit again, so I took a few more doses of the Pantothenic Acid and Vitamin C to bring the swelling back down again. I. Was. Amazed. I have always had to go on Prednisone if the rash got on my eye lids.
A few weeks later, I had poison ivy again, this time on my arm. Again the results from vitamins amazed me. Instead of angry-red, swollen, oozing patches, I only had a reddish-colored, slightly raised areas to mark the rash. The itching was minimal. I was ecstatic!
Why Does This Work?
My next question was: why do these two vitamins, used together, cause such a decrease in inflammation? Although Weaver did not offer an explanation in her book, I stumbled on the answer accidentally in Pat Coleby’s wonderful book, Natural Sheep Care. In the chapter on vitamins, Coleby explains how Pantothenic acid and Vit C are vital for the adrenal cortex to produce cortisone.
In simpler terms, the vitamins B5 and C nourish your adrenals, and healthy adrenals produce, among other things, a natural anti-inflammatory.
Later in the book, Coleby also states that, in humans, taking artificial cortisone has been known to stop the body’s adrenals from producing natural cortisone for up to two years!
Suddenly, everything clicked. I had been taking prednisone, a corticosteroid- the same as cortisone, every year since I was a preteen. Sometimes several times a year. Each year, my reaction to poison ivy became more severe. Why? Because each dose of prednisone was steadily decreasing my body’s ability to produce its own natural anti-inflammatory. Scary!
Poison Ivy Prevention
There is one truth I’ve learned about natural health: it’s a journey, not a destination. Learning about the body’s adrenals glands lead to researching how to build up the adrenals, which lead to researching adrenal fatigue.
I had a lot of symptoms of adrenal fatigue, so I started taking Pantothenic Acid and Vitamin C daily to build up my adrenals. I could write a whole separate article on adrenal fatigue, but to keep to this article’s theme, I’ll hold back. 🙂 Then why am I mentioning it? Because several weeks ago, after I had been taking the daily doses of Pantothenic Acid & Vitamin C for a while, I again got poison ivy…but this time, it took me two days to figure out that it was poison ivy because the rash was SO light, wasn’t itchy, and disappeared in only a few days. When I finally realized it was poison ivy, I was so excited. My adrenals were working again!
Is 100% Prevention Possible?
I don’t know. Yet. Maybe in a year or two I will be able to answer this. My theory is, yes, a healthy adrenal cortex could be the answer to complete poison ivy immunity. I will update this post as I learn more.
If you suffer from poison ivy, I HIGHLY suggest you stock your medicine cabinet with both Pantothenic Acid and Vitamin C. This poison ivy treatment works much better if you can start taking it as soon as you notice you are breaking out, so don’t wait till after your rash appears to order it. Or better yet, start taking these vitamins daily to boost your adrenals and hopefully reduce your future poison ivy rash.
I hope this information is helpful to you or to someone you care about. Do you know someone who battles poison ivy rashes? Please, share this article with them!
The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only.You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.