Tag Archives: herbal

Herbal Medicine Kit – The Terrible Three!

Leaves of three I did not see
and now I have Poison Ivy…

~ Beverly R. Titus

Welcome Back…

…to another posting of the Herbal Medicine Kit.  Today we are learning about and discussing Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Sumac.  We will discuss in more depth the herbs Grindelia & Comfrey.  We will also be making several herbal remedies; Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Remedy, Paste & Bath!

Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac – The Terrible 3!

The Terrible 3!

Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac are famous for the itching and oozing rashes they can cause.  Despite their names, these plants are not really poisonous at all…NO, Really!!  The danger lies in an allergen called urushiolir.

These plants are all related; so if you are one of the unlucky people to be allergic to one…you will be allergic most likely, to all three.

 The itching, blistering  and oozing rash usually associated with these Terrible Three plants appears anytime from a few hours of exposure to several days after exposure.

Other possible symptoms also may include nausea, tiredness, mental disorientation and fever.  Very bad cases can also cause breathing difficulties and kidney damage, requiring medical intervention.

And some people….don’t react AT ALL to these plants!

Poison Ivy Arm Rash

John and I had personal experience with our friends…the Leaves of Three when we went back to our Homestead in May.  Our acre of land was covered with beautiful green vegetation growing beneath our towering black oak trees.  Never having seen Poison Ivy as a kid we weren’t aware that we were traipsing through this wicked stuff for over 4 days, cutting and trimming and weeding and raking…well, you get the picture!

 Low and behold about 3 days later when we arrived back home we both broke out in odd rashes.  John’s was quite severe and lasted almost 2 months, mine was very mild and had the same duration.  We opted to NOT go to the Doctors because it seems the medicine of choice for them is steroids and we didn’t believe that would be beneficial to us…only a band-aid and side affects on top of that!

Oozing Poison Ivy Rash

The best way to protect yourself from Poison ivy, Oak and Sumac is to stay away from them…of course!  But if you aren’t aware of what they look like that is hard.  Become knowledgeable…you never know when you will run into them!

Be able to identify the Terrible 3!

Some Precautions to take:

Wear protective clothing, on arms and legs.  Wear gloves and heavy shoes.  Be prepared to throw these clothes away as the oils from the plants can stay imbedded into the fibers even after multiple, multiple washings.

If you do get the oils on your skin, wash immediately in COLD water and soap.  DO NOT use hot water as we automatically think of doing.  The heat from the water will open up your pores and push the oils in and even cause them to spread.

Herbs to the Rescue!

I find it interesting that one of the herbs used to alleviate the pain and itching from the Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac grows near it…Grindelia.  I took pictures of it on our property not knowing at the time what it was.  Just that it was gorgeous.


Several Herbs are very helpful and beneficial for treating Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac; Grindelia, Plantain, Comfrey, Jewelweed.


More Helpful Tips:

 Plantain poultices help to immediately reduce swelling and itching.  Jewelweed helps to effectively fight reactions.

Comfrey and Aloe Vera promote healing and help soothe the skin irritated by the allergic reactions.

A lukewarm bath of oatmeal, herbs and Epsom salts can soothe and give relief.

For oozing rashes, mix herbal paste with ground oatmeal and cover the rash.

Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Remedy

Click HERE to print


 Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Paste

Click HERE to print



 Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Bath

Click HERE to print




 Recap:  Today we looked a various herbs that help with allergic reactions to Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac.  We made several herbal remedies.

 Looking ahead:  Next week we will be looking at, and discussing Shock.  We will be making a Rescue Remedy and also a Lavender Compress.

Reminder:  Gather your herbs and in this case some flowers; rock rose, impatiens, clematis, star of bethlehem and cherry plum, and your lavender!!

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Modern Homesteaders

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Herbal Medicine Kit – Heat Exhaustion & Sunstroke

Mint, oh mint Fresh green and cool. You help my tummy feel great!

~Brenda Hunter



Welcome Back….

 …to another posting of the Herbal Medicine Kit.  Today we are learning about and discussing Heat Exhaustion and Sunstroke.  We will be making a “It’s HOT outside Tea” and discussing various herbs.

Let’s get to it…


Heat Exhaustion & Sunstroke- Part 2

Just like your car, your body can get overheated when the air temperature soars or when you overexert yourself.  Sometimes this is heat exhaustion and sometimes, heat stroke.  Let’s look at the individual cases.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat Exhaustion:

 Heat exhaustion typically begins with a wave of dizziness and is often accompanied by weakness and tingling sensations.  The skin becomes pale, cool and clammy and the pulse weak.  But your body may remain normal.  These are all signs you have lost too much fluid and too many important minerals.

What to do to help?

Heat exhaustion can generally be self-treated, but your body needs to cool down quickly to avoid further damage.  Keep this person quiet and comfortable, replacing lost fluid and minerals with miso soup, fruit juices, or one of the electrolyte drink.  Also the Lavender Compress would be excellent on the forehead!


In an attempt to cool down the body begins to sweat; as a result, you lose even more water and salt.  Then….the opposite symptoms result: high fever, lack of sweating and a bounding pulse…this indicates more than heat exhaustion…this indicated sunstroke.  Sunstroke victims need to have medical attention ASAP!


What can you do while you wait for Medical Help?

 Cool the person down with ice water, have him drink it and apply cold compresses and if possible with submersion in a cold bath.


Heat Exhaustion/Stroke Prevention

Heatstroke is predictable and preventable. Take these steps to prevent heatstroke during hot weather:

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. Wearing excess clothing or clothing that fits tightly won’t allow your body to cool properly.

Wear light-colored clothing if you’re in the sun. Dark clothing absorbs heat. Light-colored clothing can help keep you cool by reflecting the sun’s rays.

 Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.

Take extra precautions with certain medications. Be on the lookout for heat-related problems if you take medications that can affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.

Never leave children or anyone else in a parked car. This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 6.7 C) in just 10 minutes. It’s not safe to leave a person inside a parked car in hot weather for any period of time, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in the shade. When your car is parked, keep it locked to prevent a child from getting inside.

Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day. If you can’t avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, follow the same precautions and rest frequently in a cool spot. Try to schedule exercise or physical labor for cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening. Taking breaks and replenishing your fluids during that time will help your body regulate your temperature.

Get acclimatized. Limit the amount you spend working or exercising in the heat until you’re conditioned to it. People who are not used to hot weather are especially susceptible to heat-related illness, including heatstroke. It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.

Be cautious if you’re at increased risk. If you take medications or have a physical condition that increases your risk of heat-related problems, avoid the heat and act quickly if you notice symptoms of overheating. If you participate in a strenuous sporting event or activity in hot weather, make sure there are medical services at the event in case a heat emergency arises.

It’s HOT outside Tea!

Click HERE to print



Recap: Today we looked at and discussed Heat Exhaustion and Sunstroke. We also made a tea: “It’s Hot Outside”

Looking Ahead:  Next week we will be discussing in more depth all of the herbs we used in our “Its Hot Outside” Tea:  Mulberry leaves, Peony root bark, Licorice root, Ginseng.  We have looked at Peppermint in past Herbal Med Kit Postings.

Reminder:  Next week we will be reviewing information…look ahead to the following week and gather the following supplies for our Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac Post: Grindelia & Comfrey!

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Blessings to you and yours,






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