If you’ve ever suffered from the itching, redness and swelling of poison ivy, you know how miserable these symptoms can be. While a host of pharmaceutical and natural products exist to aid in healing, the homeopathic solution Rhus Tox has a seen a resurgence with nature lovers. Its popularity is due in part to claims that it can create an immunity to the plant.
Rhu Toxicodendron (Rhu Tox) is an extract from the poison ivy plant. Compound pharmacies dilute the extract down until the final product has just enough extract to help the patient become desensitized to the plant. As a treatment, Rhu Tox is commonly given in pill form (taken under the tongue) to lessen the itchy painful rash that occurs when the sap of the plant comes in contact with skin.
As a prevention method, Rhu Tox is given in smaller doses during the off-season with the hope that the patient will build up an immunity when the plant is most active during the height of summer. In many people, even if the regimen didn’t make them completely immune, it still lessened the effects of the breakout significantly.
Leaves of three, leave them be. Well, yes, and no. This timeless mantra handed down through generations of outdoor enthusiasts is true as it pertains to poison ivy but not poison sumac or poison oak. All three plants secrete the same type of urushiol oil that can irritate the skin, but they don’t all look the same.
Poison Plant 101
- Poison Ivy – Three leaves per cluster
- Poison Sumac – Seven to thirteen leaves on a branch
- Poison Oak – Three to five leaves per cluster
Although Rhu Tox has been reported to be safe for children and the elderly, check with your doctor before administering.