Oils are one of the common cures for many skin conditions. Herein, find the best essential oils for poison ivy, why they are effective and recipes on how to use these oils
Coconut oil has soothing effects to the redness caused by the itching which comes with poison ivy rash. It acts as an emollient which means it is able to reduce the size of the blisters that come with the rashes as well as the hardness of the bumps.
When applied on the affected skin, it is absorbed into your skin easily and hence starts working immediately. The easy absorption is explained by the fatty acids that make up coconut oil. Coconut oil is mainly made up of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) as opposed to other oils which are made up of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs).
Having chains that are smaller than those of other oils, coconut oil easily penetrates through the affected skin. As soon as the oil is applied on the skin with rashes, the fatty acids start working and hence they strengthen the skin to fight the rash.
Itching is worsened by dryness of the skin as well as roughness of the skin. Coconut oil protects the irritated skin area from extreme itching by nourishing the skin through. Other pollutants may make the itching on the rash worse. Coconut oil will provide your skin with a protective layer which prevents entry of such pollutants.
Coconut oil has also immune modulating effects. These are effects that fight severe inflammation and itching which occur in very serious cases of poison ivy rash. It has been used as a natural substitute for other drugs like antihistamine and corticosteroid which are also known to have the immune modulating properties.
Additionally, coconut oil has antibacterial properties. Making up coconut oil apart from the fatty acids is lauric acid. If your skin is exposed to bacterial infections when it already has the rash, it becomes more irritated and the rash may take much longer to heal. Coconut oil ensures that your skin is well protected from any possible bacterial infection.
Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties. This explains why, upon application, coconut oil reduces the swelling which results from poison ivy rash. Coconut oil, apart from having the properties discussed above, is safe for application on the skin. This is because, coconut oil is not only a natural oil from coconuts which are edible but it is also non-toxic. Below is how to use the oil;
- Take virgin coconut oil as it has the maximum benefits when virgin
- Apply the oil directly on the itching skin
- Leave the oil on the skin for about 30minutes before cleaning it up
- Wash the affected skin with cold water to rinse it 
In the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential oils, Julia Lawless explains that peppermint oil has analgesic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. This is why peppermint oil is perfect in speeding the healing of the poison ivy rash.
Being minty, peppermint oil has a cooling effect on the affected skin. Sometimes, the poison ivy rash is painful. Peppermint oil acts as a pain reliever and slightly numbs your skin.
The oil when applied on the skin reduces any swelling and itching that may be causing discomfort. This oil also protects your skin from any infections that may make the condition of the skin worse.
In Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, Len Price and Shirley explain that peppermint soothes the skin from any irritation, rashes and redness.
Despite of the countless benefits, you must be careful when you use peppermint oil on your skin. This is because it contains high levels of menthol which when used in large amounts worsens the irritation of the rash. It is important to consult with you doctor before embarking on the use of peppermint oil. This is so as to determine how favorable the oil is for your skin type.
Due to the high menthol concentration, you must always dilute peppermint oil before applying it on your skin. The University of Minnesota advises that you dilute peppermint oil with carrier oil. You must keep the peppermint oil concentration at less than 5%. Below is how to use peppermint oil on your skin.
- Add a drop of peppermint oil to about 1 tablespoon jacaranda oil. You can adjust the amounts of each depending on the area covered by the rash. Even that, the ratio must be maintained. Olive oil may be used in place of the carrier oil.
- Ensure the two oils mix well then apply the mixture on the affected skin.
- Leave the oil on the skin for about fifteen minutes before rinsing it. You could do this twice a day.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antiseptic, antifungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It is these properties which fight together to bring the poison ivy rash down. That aside, it has anti-inflammatory properties and hence; this oil reduces any inflammation as well as redness which comes as a consequence of poison ivy rash.
Tea tree oil can not only be used to speed the healing of the rash but it can also be used as a disinfectant prior to using any other form of treatment.
- Add 1 ounce of water to 3 drops of tea tree oil
- Dip a cotton ball into the mixture then rub the affected skin with the ball gently. This way, you cleanse the skin and also disinfect it
- Repeat the procedure about three times a day for faster results
This essential oil has antiseptic and disinfectant properties. This oil also has calming effects on the affected skin.It also relaxes your skin that may be experiencing stress due to the irritation and pain. There are several ways through which you can use the essential oil on your skin as discussed below.
- Frankincense oil steam bath
After washing the affected skin with hot water, pour a few drops of frankincense oil on your wash cloth and run it over the skin with rashes. The steam from the hot shower makes it easy for the oil to be infused. This bath is found to be quite relieving. You can alternatively add the oil to your bath gel.
You can also add a few drops of frankincense oil into a bowl of cool water. Dip a wash cloth or cotton ball to the mixture then apply it on the affected skin giving it a gentle massage. A warm compress can also be used.
However, you must remember that adding the oil to hot water leaves it floating. This is because it hardly dissolves. This is likely to be harmful since hot water opens your skin pores and the oil penetrates causing an irritation.
This is an essential oil which has both antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. When applied on the affected skin, lavender oil prevents possibility of any other infection while reducing any swelling that may have developed from the rash.
Lavender oil disinfects the area that has poison ivy rash and soothes the skin relieving you of itchiness. The oil calms the irritated skin. Unless your skin is extremely sensitive, you do not need to dilute this oil.
- Apply three drops of the oil on the rash
- Massage the skin gently. You could also dip a cotton cloth on the oil and apply it on the affected area.
- Repeat this several times in a day for consistent recovery.
More other Oils for Poison Ivy
Cypress essential oil
Cypress oil has very strong antiseptic properties. This makes it very useful in treatment of poison ivy rash. For more quick and satisfying results, dilute cypress oil with aloe vera gel and apply it on the rash. It speeds up the healing process especially if applied when the blisters have started opening up.
Alternatively, you can use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and the cypress oil. The following steps will be helpful;
- Make a mixture of 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with ½ cup of distilled water
- Add 7 drops of cypress oil
- Put the mixture in a 4oz spraying bottle
- Spray it on the affected area evenly
This is another essential oil which has menthol responsible for numbing any itchiness which comes with poison ivy rash. This oil provides a cooling and soothing effect by doing away with skin inflammation and pain resulting from the rash.
Although you can use the eucalyptus essential oil without necessarily diluting it, it is advisable that you dilute it since when used undiluted, it may cause irritation and burning on the skin.
- Add two cups of cold water into a bowl
- Add at least five drops of eucalyptus oil into the water
- Soak a soft cloth into the water –eucalyptus mixture for about ten minutes
- Apply the warm cloth over the affected area. When it starts to get warm, dip the cloth once more into the mixture
- In case your skin has become very sensitive to touch following the rash, you are advised to use a spray bottle to spray the area.
Myrrh essential oil
It has powerful hydration and moisturizing properties. Myrrh oil like cypress oil has antiseptic properties. It relieves you of any skin reactions such as rashes, in this case, poison ivy rash.
- Into a running tepid bath, add two handfuls of oats
- Add a tablespoon of coconut oil then 10 drops of myrrh oil
- Soak the affected area into the mixture for a relief
This is one of the essential oils which are considered safe for use on very sensitive skin and for the skin of infants. It offers a calming effect to the rash. It reduces inflammation of skin on the affected area and it also reduces the pain which comes with the rash. This oil works very well to reduce itchiness and redness brought by the rash.
- Add 2 teaspoons of aloe vera to 5 drops of chamomile
- Apply the mixture on the affected skin and leave it to take effect
- You can rinse it after about 20 minutes
- Repeat the procedure several times in the day until the desired relief is realized
Pine essential oil
Clinical studies on pine oil show that this oil reduces inflammation since it produces nitric acid. That aside, pine essential oil reduces redness and soreness that is associated with poison ivy poison. You are required to apply this oil on the affected skin.
This essential oil has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil are so strong that they can be compared to the strength of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. Where the poison ivy rash has scabbed over, bergamot essential oil promotes healing. It also reduces scarring that may occur after the rash.
Like most essential oils, rosemary oil has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. When applied on your skin, this oil brings a soothing effect to your skin. Before applying the oil to the affected area, it is always advisable that you dilute it with carrier oil.
Cardamom essential oil
The properties that make cardamom oil a great treatment for poison ivy rash are that; it has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibacterial properties.
When applied on the affected skin, therefore, this oil reduces swelling and pain that may occur due to the rash. This oil’s anti-inflammatory properties are found to be more powerful than those of a normal synthetic drug. You only need to massage this oil on the rash.