Q. Last year you had information about taking the homeopathic medicine Rhus tox to prevent a reaction to poison ivy. I took two tablets twice a day for a week in March, as suggested, and a month later I repeated that regimen.
It works! I get poison ivy very easily and severely and usually need steroid tablets and shots to clear it up. My encounter with poison ivy this summer has resulted in only a few small blisters, which went away after I used an ivy scrub. This would never have happened without taking Rhus tox. You have saved my summer!

A. The idea behind homeopathy is that exposure to a very dilute concentration of the toxin (in this case, poison ivy) somehow teaches your body how to handle it. Rat research does suggest that Rhus tox has anti-inflammatory properties (Homeopathy, April, 2007) but human research is scanty. Avoiding poison ivy whenever possible is always the best bet.

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  1. kasi

    Poison Ivy, Poison Oak. I am not crazy this works. Plain ole cheap white toothpaste. Take the white toothpaste and apply to the infected area so that you have a thick white coat covering all the rash. Within 15 minutes the itch will be gone. Do this every day for three days and your poison ivy will be cured. You look stupid walking around with a white layer of toothpaste on your skin but it really works.

  2. Rocket Scientist

    A power company tree trimmer just told me that the company sent him to a clinic for a poison-ivy immunity shot last year. He hasn’t had poison ivy since, and the immunization is supposed to be last 6 to 7 years.

  3. B

    A word of caution to those who are extremely allergic to poison ivy. My husband and I have used it for several years and it helps us even if we take it after the rash has appeared. However, our adult son, who is extremely allergic to poison ivy took it after he started to get the rash and took 2 pills every few hours as it said on the bottle for a day or so. (We never take but about 2 to 4 a day.) It went systemic and he broke out all over his body. He had to have cortizone shots and missed a couple of days of work. Needless to say he was miserable. The good news is that he has never had a serious outbreak since and that has been four or five years. The point is if you are very allergic take it with caution and don’t take too much.

  4. beau

    I have been trying to eradicate poison ivy from my land. Anytime I come into contact with that stuff I wash-off the area continuously about 10-12 times w/ cold water – and then live in fearful anticipation to see if any rash developes. I think I will try Rhus tox – starting as soon as I can obtain it. Thanks mucho for the information – I had no idea.

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