Simple Treatments for Poison Ivy & Bug Stings
When being out in the woods or doing garden work one can sometimes find themselves encountering Poison Ivy or even when digging up something you may stumble upon a bee’s nest and you happen to get stung. Well this post is all about some medicinal herbs you can use instantly or just for later use.
First off I wanted to give you a few facts about Poison Ivy. It is a high varying plant so it can look different based on the location but usually you can identify it but it having 3-leaflets. It is a climbing vine so it spreads very easily. The plant itself is not poisonous, it is the oil urushiol that is in all the plant parts which causes a rash or other serious reactions to occur.
Now, some plants to help with Poison Ivy are Solomon’s Seal and Jewelweed. Solomon’s Seal is used as a popular remedy for many skin ailments and you can buy it as an essential oil anywhere online (its 2017 anythings possible DUHH) and Yellow Jewelweed is SUPER easy to find by just noting the key points below! Its one easier to identify because usually Jewelweed and Poison Ivy are located near one another. But with bug bites you can find a more easily accessible (to Eastern and Central North America) plant called the Common Plantain. This one is an EASY fix to insect stings because its easy to find and use.
Solomon’s Seal: Polygonatum biflorium
This wildflower is one that is easy to identify but also easy to get incorrect. (Confusing right???) You see there is this and False Solomon’s Seal. The picture above is indeed Solomon’s Seal. You can identify it by its long, smooth, alternating leaves but to really distinguish this plant from its sly counterpart you can look underneath the leaf. Underneath the leaf axils you can see the flowers hanging. Even if the flowers are not there you can see the tiny stems from where they were once hanging. Let me make it easy for you:
Solomon’s Seal = flowers droop underneath the leaf
False Solomon’s Seal = flowers droop at the end of the stem
The medicinal part of the plant is typically drawn from the roots and is used externally to treat poison ivy rashes. Some other medicinal uses include: the fresh root can be applied to cuts, bruises, and sores. It is also considered an anti-inflammatory and astringent. Like I said above you can easily get the essential root oil online or even just be bold and plant it yourself do whatever you feel is best for you! While also making sure you stay safe and healthy :)
Yellow Jewelweed or Pale Touch-Me-Not : Impatiens pallida
Yellow Jewelweed can be identified by its yellow flowers and seed pods that burst out when touched. This wildflower is similar to the spotted touch me not and can be difficult to identify without the flowers. The Yellow Jewelweed has alternating leaves that are seared at the edges. Also notice the succulent-like stem. The part of the plant typically used are the leaves, stem, and flowers. It can be poulticed and used for recent Poison ion Ivy rashes. Poulticed basically means you mashing (you can add water and squish it up) into a mass that you can apply and spread onto the rash. The juice of the flowers can also be rubbed on Poison Ivy rashes to alleviate the irritation. This wildflower is usually found in wet/ shady areas and near ponds or streams.
Common Plantain: Plantago major
Just found out this is the most abundant and widely distributed medicinal plants in the world (S/o to Wikipedia). This is found EVERYWHERE and many people would call them “weeds” but they have a great medicinal use. The leaves are broad, toothed, and have rosette arrangement (meaning they have a circular arrangement at the base of the plant) and the flowers have an elongated head. Because Common Plantain can be found in many waste areas and because you can easily find this one please remember to be careful where you get your herbs! The leaves can be poulticed and used for slight wounds, sores, spider and insect bites. Many people use this in reusable remedies for insect bites (aka me) it words better than the over the counter Cortisone cream, and its all natural!
I know all this information can be a bit overwhelming but isn’t it better to know too much than too little? Try be smart about getting your herbs and always talk to the plans as they are living and breathing like you and I. They deserve to be spoken to and respected don’t you think? Don’t forget each herb and flower and everything else is a gift from our Mother so make sure you’re EXTRA thankful for her wonderful gifts!! You speak kindness and respect into her for without her, where would we be?
Pages to find plants in Peterson Field Guide: 44,146,103