Those two words “poison ivy” are almost synonymous with the allergic skin reaction many people get from the oils in the plant, and it’s no wonder. It’s a terrible condition and, though I personally am not allergic to the oils in the poison ivy plant, I sure pity anyone who is. The reaction can be really uncomfortable with extreme itching, a red rash, and bumps, which often form weeping blisters.
If you suffer from this type of allergy, then you’re undoubtedly familiar with that over-the-counter summer staple called calamine lotion. Every year, gallons of it are smeared over itchy red skin in an attempt to soothe the discomfort.
Until last year, I used to buy commercial calamine lotion from the drug store as a sort of “carrier” for essential oils when I wanted to make a “poison ivy relief” blend.
Then I discovered how to create a homemade version of calamine lotion and love it so much that I’ll never go back the commercial version. Not only is it nourishing for the skin with lots of healing ingredients, but costs very little to make and can be used for any itchy skin condition like poison ivy, bug bites, rashes, etc.
Here’s My Recipe for Homemade Calamine Lotion
1 T Himalayan Pink Salt – The salt sloughs dead skin cells and helps relieve inflammation.
1 tablespoon Baking soda – Baking soda is a classic remedy for relief from itchiness and irritation
2 tablespoons of Clay – Clay is amazing! It helps draw out infection. In my blend I love French Green clay but Bentonite Clay or Rhassoul Clay work as well. (Here’s a pack of all three clays)
Peppermint Hydrosol– The menthol in Mentha x piperita soothes itching and it’s more gentle than Peppermint essential oil. Just add enough to make the blend creamy.
2 drops Lavender Essential Oil – This essential oil has wonderful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties
1 drop Peppermint Essential oil – The menthol will help soothe the itch and heat, but don’t use much. One drop is really enough.
2 drop German Chamomile Essential Oil or Blue Tansy Essential oil – the “blue oils” are anti-inflammatory and cooling as well as nourishing for the skin.
1 oz glass jar with lid and label
Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl
Directions for Use:
Apply to the itchy skin condition as often as needed. Remember to keep it refrigerated as it will only last about 2 weeks. You can also keep the dry ingredients blended together in a “mother” jar and spoon a little bit into your 1 oz jar and add the hydrosol as you need it.
Outsmarting Poison Ivy
Here is a terrific article from the US Food and Drug Administration called, Outsmarting Poison Ivy and Other Poisonous Plants