So I'll ask the big question up front: If you have an ecological conscience, what do you do with Poison Ivy?
As I cleared and trimmed within and around my garden this past week, I pulled a bit of delicate vine away from around this little tree near my tomatoes. There are so many things that come with stickers and prickles from roses to squash to borage. It's habit for me to come in and wash up to my elbows after every foray out into my yard; but I didn't realize I'd met up with that nasty little creeper, otherwise I'd have done an even more thorough job. Now I'm looking for it everywhere: "Leaves of three, let it be."
That's no joke. Here's the worst spot, although we think it's improved a bit. Little blisters are still popping up here and there on my arms even as of this morning. I got some on my face and neck in addition to this beauty, but those places haven't been as bad, thank goodness. Turn away if you're squeamish, kids.
I looked online for all kinds of natural remedies. I recognized the pretty orange flowers of the jewelweed from our neighborhood path, so L and I went out there to carefully harvest some. We brought it home and I then cooked it to make a warm poultice which I applied to my bubbling forearm, wrapping it in gauze. It took away the itching immediately and worked for about 24 hours, then it was no good. (Later on I read that it must be used fresh. I guess I should have gone and picked some more since I was still using what I'd cooked up and it must have lost its effectiveness.) I read that apple cider vinegar stings at first but works great so I gave that a go - it not only stung but seemed to make it all the redder, not a winner for me. I've applied Anbesol for its numbing quality, then moved to Caladryl which was also helpful. Benadryl is getting me through the night. Time is just going to have to do its thing, I'm afraid.
Of course I've also been looking for a natural way of killing this monster. M wants to spray Round-Up on it, but I hate to even hear the word. A armed up with long sleeves and gloves and removed the rest of the vine, but it's got this serious hairy stump from which it's growing and there was no budging it, even after a couple days of good hard rain. In fact, the little tree has grown up around it, enveloping it between two stout shoots. The other day I cooked up a boiling pot of vinegar, salt, and soap, dug a hole at the base of the tree and poured my concoction in. My plan is to do this every week until the witch is dead.
Now A and L have had itchy spots and stripes popping up as well. Today we stopped by CVS and I picked up some Zanfel scrub and TecNu spray. We went straight to the bathroom and used it. Ahh, sweet relief...
I might wind up giving it to Round-Up as well.
Sometimes having such an earth-conscience is really a drag.
Note of warning - be careful not to use to wide a shotgun approach. Read more here.
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