Poison oak is common in the canyons and trails of my hometown of San Diego. I offer some great herbal solutions to relieve the rash and reduce the inflammation. Herbal medicine works wonders for skin irritations!
The culprit: Uroshiol
Both the leaves and the stems of poison oak contain urushiol, an oily plant substance that triggers an allergic reaction in the form of the poison oak rash. Urushiol can also be found in the roots and even in the dead plant. In addition, urushiol can become airborne if the plant is burned and is easily transported from one object to another.
- The rash from poison oak is not contagious in the standard sense, but if someone has the urushiol on their hands and touches another person, that second person can react as well. The oil can get on your clothes or dog.
- All parts of the poison oak plant contain the toxin urushiol. Even when the leaves fall off in winter, the plant is not safe to touch.
If you notice a rash starting, washing with warm water and soap (I love the tecnu brand for removing the urushiol) is important. The rash can spread very fast, especially in children.
If you hike often and know that you are allergic, I suggest keeping tecnu soap and a bottle of the Poison Oak and Ivy liniment at home. :)
If you know anyone who can benefit from my services, please give me their name and number and I will take great care of them. I love referrals!
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