Honey for Poison Ivy: Treatments and Benefits

Honey for Poison Ivy: Treatments and Benefits

Do you remember the last time you had poison ivy? To me, a bee string is nothing compared to a poison ivy rash!

I was in seventh grade. Mary Willen and I decided to roast marshmallows in my parent’s fireplace; it was a crisp autumn evening in idyllic Reisterstown, Maryland. We climbed a tree out back in the woods to get branches long enough to work. Of course we were not worried about the plants around us. The next day I got a phone call from someone that sounded like Mary with marbles in her mouth, the only thing I could make out was, “poison ivy”.

The week that followed we both ended up with poison ivy everywhere. I won’t get into detail but let’s just say I had a poison ivy rash in places where the sun doesn’t shine. For me, over-the-counter poison ivy treatments did not do the job. We both missed a week of school and had to be medicated - I got rid of quite a bit of clothing that week!

a colorful clover field

Poison Ivy and Poison Oak are Easy to Run In To

Poison ivy isn't found on the west coast of the United States. However, this doesn't mean there aren't other poisonous plants around. Poison oak is a close relative to poison ivy that grows in the Pacific region of America, and a poison oak plant looks very similar to a poison ivy plant.

It can be very easy to run into poison ivy if you don't know what to look our for, especially when you're a kid. It's normal for them to go wonder around a garden and pick up a random stick without thinking twice. Or to walk around the house and jump into shrubs and other plants. These kinds of activities occur when you're a child, which unfortunately means they are more susceptible to poisonous plants, such as poison ivy and poison oak. The itchy, swelling symptoms can cause extreme discomfort, which is why it is important to seek treatment for fast relief.

That said, if you get a really bad case of poison ivy, go to the doctor and do what is medically necessary for your health and to heal. If you suspect contact with a poison ivy plant, wash the affected area on your body with cool water as soon as possible to prevent further spread. If you itch the poison ivy rash while it is contagious, you can get the bacteria under your fingernails, which could cause the infection to spread and get worse.

I have not had poison ivy since then, until now.

Toxicodendron radicans, commonly known as poison ivy, is a poisonous North American plant that is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant … Wikipedia.

Urushiol oil is the cause of the allergic reaction, and it is important to wash it off promptly to prevent further contamination.

Honey Body Products to Soothe Poison Ivy Rashes

I was working on the farm that spring, clearing away debris and weeds from the blackberry plants and that must be where it happened. Nothing over-the-counter provided relief from the rash caused by the poison ivy. Aluminum acetate, an astringent, can help reduce swelling and itching. I was about to go to the doctor when my “honey” looked at my oozing sores and blisters and suggested that maybe I had an infection, like MRSA.

I had just published a blog on apitherapy and the effects of honey on MRSA and figured what the heck?!

feet with wounds from poison ivy on them

Poison Ivy Honey Treatment Products and Recipes

Off I went to the tub, pulled out my Oatmeal+Lavender Bar Soap, and gently sudsed up my skin. In addition to a light scrubbing with the soap, I used our Honey Body Scrub and let the honey work its magic. It was soothing and helped alleviate the pain. However, avoid using topical antihistamine cream on the rash as it may worsen the itching.

This milk, honey, and oatmeal bath can also be very helpful. Oatmeal is comforting and soothing on irritated skin, and poison ivy rashes are no exception. These home remedies, including natural solutions like cold compresses and calamine, can help alleviate the symptoms of the poison ivy plant.

Anyone of our bath soaks can also help ease the itch, any itch, even dry-skin itch.

Honey Body Butter can be a good treatment for itching from the poison ivy plant, as it will help to moisturize the skin and give you some relief. Apply the body butter to the skin at the site of the rash immediately after washing. It is best to apply while your skin is still damp.

After applying your moisturizer, apply Body Oil or Baby Oil to really lock in the moisture. If you have poison ivy on your face, try using Face Oil for relief of symptoms. Skin-safe oil is meant to moisturize and hydrate, reduce inflammation and irritation, and help create comfort.

As experienced early in my life, poison ivy can get anywhere. If you happen to get it on or around your mouth, use Honey Lip Balm or Honey Lip Gloss to soothe dry, itchy lips. Both products contain beeswax which is good for the skin and wound healing.

Luckily, I have yet to come into contact with other poisonous plants, such as poison oak and poison sumac. If I ever do I will be trying poison ivy honey home remedies first. As mentioned earlier, it is very important to see your doctor about your health when it is medically necessary after coming into contact with any poison plant.

Always remember, “Leaves of three, let it bee.


Kara holding a hive frame in doorway of cabin

About the Author

Kara waxes about the bees, creates and tests recipes with her friend Joyce, and does her best to share what she’s learning about the bees, honey, ingredients we use and more. Read more about Kara