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Milk of Magnesia Dries Up Poison Ivy

Q. Long ago I heard on your radio program that milk of magnesia (MoM) can be applied to underarms as a deodorant. I tried it and it worked!
Later I heard it is good for pimples. So when, two years ago, I had my usual summertime attack of poison ivy, I thought: If MoM is good for drying up perspiration and pimples, it might work on poison ivy too.
It is GREAT! It stops the pain immediately and dries it up within a day. MoM is so much better than calamine lotion, which takes many applications while the poison ivy lingers on.

A. Thanks for sharing your experience with topical application of milk of magnesia. The active ingredient in MoM is magnesium hydroxide, which is also found in many antacids. We can’t think of a safer way of soothing skin irritation.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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