Due to my recent camping trip, and my generous donation of poison ivy on various parts of my body, I have decided to do a bit of research on it and figured I’d share it here along with some environmentally save alternatives to herbicides and other dangerous chemicals.
Some safe alternatives to remove poison ivy from your land:
- Goats are actually an interesting alternative because there are two species of goats that absolutely ï¿½love- to eat poison ivy. Spanish and Angora goat breeds love to make a meal out of poison ivy.
- Soap has long been used for an all-purpose herbicide. Many health food stores carry liquid soap such as Dr. Bronnerï¿½s Pure-Castile Soaps.
A homemade poison ivy vegetation killer spray that is safe and effective:
- 1 cup of salt
- 8 drops of liquid soap
- 1 gallon of vinegar
Combine salt and vinegar in a pan and heat to dissolve the salt. Cool the vinegar, add the detergent, and pour into a large spray bottle. Note that this formula will kill the vegetation so be sure to only spray on the poison ivy. Avoid spraying near walls if you use a lot of this formula, as the salt will eventually reach your water supply.
Some effective remedies should you contract a case of poison ivy:
- Osha Root Tincture (which may be ordered online or found in your local natural foods store) is the best remedy for allergic reactions caused by poison ivy and bug bites EVER. Simply apply tincture directly, and sparingly, to the affected area and allow to dry.
- Native Americans used fresh bark of beech trees as a poultice for such things as poison ivy. Simply fill a jar with the pieces of the bark, pour in boiling water to cover, and let the infusion steep for about 20 minutes. Strain and discard the bark and allow the fusion to cool. Apply the tea to the skin and cover it with cheesecloth.
- Jewelweed is another effective remedy against poison ivy. Simply crush and rub the plant on the exposed areas. Also used for stings and other skin problems
- Tea tree oil is another remedy Iï¿½ve found in my research that supposedly does wonders for itch relief and overnight cure of poison ivy
To familiarize yourself with the different types of poison ivy and poison oak, youï¿½ll need to learn to recognize them by site. Of course, in my case, the field had been mowed so I didnï¿½t get a chance to see anything.
Lists various poison ivy, oak, and berry pictures to help you recognize the distinction between the varieties.
Another good site that lists various versions of poison ivy.
An EXCELLENT poison ivy resource site.
And, as always, consult a health professional before using this or any remedy if you are pregnant, or have compromised or threatened health.
Resources for this article include:
Tom Browns Guide to Wilderness Survival
Growing and Using Healing Herbs