Posts Tagged With: Home remedies

4 Tips to Avoid Getting Poison Ivy From a Girl Who Has It!

Ok lets just say that my husband told me so…. and I did it anyway. I have never really had a bad case of Poison Ivy up until this mothers day weekend. I wanted to clear away a vine that was clearly poison ivy off a tree we use as shade in the back yard. I wanted to put a sand box and pick-nick table under the Dogwood tree for the kids to play on. So without any thought I had Tom who gets terrible poison ivy to trim the vine off the tree and I would drag the pieces to the burn pile. I took no precautions other than a pair of gloves and that was my first mistake. I should have at least put on a long sleeve shirt, but no, I can handle this, I never get it, were my last comfortable words for a while.

Now that I have an out break, and a pretty good one, I want to share some ideas on how to prevent getting Poison Ivy and Oak. The Appalachian Mountains are home to many poisons plants but the most terrible of all is Poison Ivy. Here are a couple of photos I took after removing the vine last week.We have tons of sprouts that still can cause problems and still need removed before the littl’ens  can play safely under this tree.

Spring shoots of Poison Ivy on tree near children's sand box

Spring shoots of Poison Ivy on tree near children’s sand box

poison ivy new leaves in spring and 3 leaf pattern

poison ivy new leaves in spring and 3 leaf pattern

To identify Poison Ivy you will see three leaves in a group, usually the stems of the leaves grow red or pink. Each leaf that is mature in size has a notch on one side. In the case of these baby leaves they start red and slowly turn green. They have a vine stem of brown with what looks like brown hairs growing around the stem. This is actually the way the vine attach to things to climb.

So now that you know that you have poison ivy how can you prepare yourself to deal with it.

#1 First wear the correct clothing. Yes, I am sitting here wishing I had taken my advice. Long sleeves, long pants, gloves and shoes all need  worn if you know you are going to battle this monster of a vine. Even the slightest touch from a leaf can lead to out break.

#2 Use some of the pre-contact products out on the market both of which we have in our homes medicine cabinet and I still did not stop to think to use. First is the pre-contact towelettes.

Ivy-x towelettes for pre contact and cleanser for after contact

Ivy-x towelettes for pre contact and cleanser for after contact

Simple easy to use and cheap they form a barrier on the skin to stop the plants oil from getting into contact with the skin. Then they also have a Ivy-X product to use after you get exposed and think the skin needs cleaned. My husband is always getting exposed to poison something and gets these at work. He works outdoors year round and cutting trees cleaning up under bridges is just part of the job.He uses these often with great results.

#3 We also have what the family calls the secret weapon for poison ivy. It is a life saver for my husband and son who get terrible cases of poison ivy.  They use Poison Ivy Pills, a Homeopathic Remedy for pre-treatment and exposure to Poison Ivy and /or Oak.

poison ivy pills and homeopathic way to control an outbreak

poison ivy pills and homeopathic way to control an outbreak

The pills contain a micro amount of the oil from the poison ivy plant and by taking very small doses of the aggravating oil your body has time to build up a resistance to it. I have friends and family who once exposed to the plant end up going to the hospital for shots of allergy medications.This little pill can prevent and or reduce the reaction to the oil that humans find so irritating. Each spring my husband and son usually take a preventative dose for the summer and a few again when exposure was possible. It seems to really help if you remember that you have some in the medicine cabinet. Which I did not remember until Tom reminded me and I took the starter dose of about 6 of the tiny pills over 6 hours. They are working to calm the pain, swelling and itching but I should have started earlier.

#4 The best all a round way to reduce the reaction to poison ivy is washing off. With the use of a good dish soap(one for grease cutting) you can almost eliminate a break out altogether. I my case we were working out side for several hours and then got company and I just forgot until a few hours had already passed. I still washed off but the damage was already done.

Then if all of these ideas fail you like they did me, use over the counter medications. I take a allergy medication already and it helps to reduce the itching but the rash needs specific treatments and there are lots of creams to use. I like Ivydry, it is a mixture of drying agents and soothing creams to help get you through Hell Week!

So my friends spring has sprung and the Ivy is growing wild everywhere so take care not to end up like me and think ahead so you do not have to live with this rash for 14 days or more. Now I just have to get a gallon of vinegar and some hot water to kill the rest of those baby Ivy vines without having to touch them.

Poison Ivy on the inside of my forearm

Poison Ivy on the inside of my forearm

information on how to get the Poison Ivy Pills :

Washington Homeopathic Products Inc.

260 J.R. Hawvermale Way

Berkeley Springs, West Virginia 25411

1-800-336-1695

or the website   www.homeopathyworks.com.

Categories: Farm work, gardening, Healing, health, home remedies, wellness | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Ooooo That Hurts, a Bee Sting!

Just about everyone has had a bee sting or two. I have had plenty and with a yard full of clover we are very cautious about wearing shoes out side. I guess today was a the day to get a honey bee sting while wearing my Crocs . It was a total surprise and very painful while balancing a 50 pound bag of sand on my shoulder. So here is a reminder of what works and what doesn’t when some one in the family is needing some TLC from a bee sting.

honey bee

honey bee

The first thing to know is if any of  your friends or family is allergic to bee stings. If there is any chance of an allergy call 911. This simple step could save a life. Beyond a life threatening allergy there are a few things that can be used to calm a very painful and usually puffy bee sting.

my foot with a fresh honey bee sting

my foot with a fresh honey bee sting

As soon as I realized that I was stung I put down that 50 pound bag of play sand and pulled off the clog I was wearing. I looked down and looked for the classic black spot of a honey bee stinger still attached to the skin. I pulled it out with my fingers. Yes, you read that right I pinched the darn thing and pulled it out as fast as I could.I was not waiting to walk into the house to find a credit card to slowly pull the darn thing out. I can’t even imagine waiting to get the stinger out for myself but what about a toddler? Really, who is going to make them wait until you get in the house and find your pocketbook and dig out  a card, the whole time they are screaming at the top of their lungs to make it stop and tears are flowing. I am not that MaMa, I am a get that thing out of their as fast as you can and let’s get it washed ASAP, kinda grandma. Some research supports me in my thinking and others say do not take the chance to inject any more poison. I just know that the faster I get my personal stingers out of the skin the less they swell. So I remove them as fast as I can and head for a bathroom. I find that cool water is a God send. It cools the stink and washes away any dirt or grass that maybe in the sting area. If  the cooling would only last a little longer. If possible I take an aspirin or an antihistamine …  Yea, I know common sense would tell you to do this. Many people forget that aspirin is perfect for reducing swelling and pain suppression and Antihistamines  stops the terrible itching that always fallows a good sting. If you can’t get to Aspirin or a Allegra and you are treating a child try this. Mix up your own batch of Baking Soda and water and apply as a past to the sting.

baking soda and water mix together to get a paste

baking soda and water mix together to get a paste

baking soda paste on sting

baking soda paste on sting

Let this concoction dry and it will sooth the sting. It took about 5 minutes for the majority of the pain to pass away. Then to combat the swelling I washed my foot again with a cool wash cloth and used it as a compress. I have also used ice packs for wasp stings. I am more sensitive to them and swell a lot more.  Although, today all I really needed was to reach in my fridge and find a Blue Ice cooler pack and use it, wrapped in a paper towel.

blue ice pack and paper towel

blue ice pack and paper towel

 

After about three hours, I found that with a dose of Allegra, the ice and soda, I was totally fine. No pain, No swelling, and no itching, this was a great first day. Things went very well for a couple of days and on the 3 day after spending a large amount of time on my feet  I did notice a little swelling in my pinky toe and across the bridge of my foot and some general itching. I guess even after 48 hours there was enough poison in my system to have a slight reaction when I was walking all day.

2 hrs after bee sting

3 hrs after bee sting

Some of the other things that my family has tried over the years that do not help us who swell up like balloons are…. deodorant, Calamine lotion, Toothpaste, and  most of the bee sting kits. Most of the kits only mask the pain with a skin numbing agent and a small amount of rubbing alcohol. They do nothing to reduce swelling and the itching. These two symptoms are actually the worst for my family. I can usually get the stinging to stop with the above treatments,but they do nothing for the later effects. I have taken my son to the ER due to swelling of his foot so big that he was unable to wear shoes or see his three smallest toes for several days. So I always keep on had any form of generic children’s allergy medication and my Adult version just in case something happens. I even take them on vacations with us in our medical kits.

three days after a bee sting

three days after a bee sting

I hope that your summer is sting free. I am hoping that I am the only one in my family to have this experience this year. I know my heart would be broken if it was little Christopher who got in a fight with a bee and lost. Kids have such little bodies to deal with this and they suffer so much more than we do. So keep in mind these tips and maybe your summer will be a little more comfortable for everyone.

Categories: bee stings, family health, Healing, home remedies | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

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