Tanya was a staff writer for Live Science from 2013 to 2015, covering a wide array of topics, ranging from neuroscience to robotics to strange/cute animals. She received a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering from Brown University. She has previously written for Science News, Wired, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, the radio show Big Picture Science and other places. Tanya has lived on a tropical island, witnessed volcanic eruptions and flown in zero gravity (without losing her lunch!). To find out what her latest project is, you can visit her website .
I have not been allergic to poison Ivy my whole life. In my thirties I was helping a friend pull poison ivy in the late fall. The foliage had dried up and we were pulling it by the roots. Not thinking the oil was drained down in the roots concentrated in storage till next Spring & highly concentrated in the roots we were pulling. 2 days later I was a mess. Both arms a runny bubbly rash & my face was so swollen my eyes were slits, my nose was just 2 holes no protrusion for the nose, and my mouth just a slit & I just sipped Carnation Breakfast & Slim Fast for 3 days through a straw. My doctor gave me some sort of antihistamine tablet & the only other thing I put on the poison ivy was Sweet Fern, which we have masses of here. I was told to stay quiet, and I just laid in bed (watching TV) with poultice of sweet fern on my arms, face, & neck down a little on my upper chest. In a big pot I simmered the sweet fern to limp it & I was draped in the soggy weeds 24 hours a day. I also drank the juice as a tea to work from the inside out. This is an old natural remedy around here for sunburn, poison weed rashes, and other skin inflammations. I pulled the ivy on Sunday, forced to leave work early on Tuesday with the rash. On Saturday my face which only swelled, no oozing rash like the rest of the affected skin, was totally normal. I was told by the Doctor there are three ways poison ivy can affected human skin & I had 2, one on my swollen face & the oozing bubbly rash on the rest of the affected skin. I went back to work Monday with hardly any signs of rash. Sweet fern, you can Google it, was a miracle worker for me. After that I would get a slight, very slight rash between my fingers, that cleared up 2 day later, if I messed with poison ivy. Now I am not bothered with with it at all. What a miserable mess I was, and sweet fern was my hero.
Noni works for this one also. I get poison ivy pretty bad and used to take shots for it. Now when I break out in a rash I take my all natural noni juice, shake the bottle real good, then pour some onto the rash. It does not get rid of the poison ivy but it will take away the itching for 12 hours straight! I had poison ivy on my foot and blisters between my toes. I shook the noni, rubbed it on the rash put my socks and shoes on and went to work. I never itched until almost bedtime that night. I did this for seven days until the rash cleared up.