Kathy Vilseck

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Poison ivy is the bane of people who live in the country.  I, apparently, am not affected by it.  My husband and his older brother are not so lucky.  My brother-in-law starts scratching if he sees poison ivy.  My husband has had his eyes swelled shut by someone burning poison ivy.  Out of sight but the smoke travels far.  We are fortunate that he did not inhale it.  Our nephew can roll around in it and not be affected.  

Last summer we had a dog who had anti-freeze poisoning.  We didn�t realize exactly what the problem was.  (Don�t ever allow any animal to get anywhere near anti-freeze.  The vet said that if she had been brought in within the hour, he might have been able to save her.)  She got comfortable in a patch of poison ivy. My husband put on a jacket, gloves, etc. and went out to get her. He did all the right things; washed his hands, took off jacket and glove to be washed, etc.  

He broke out a couple of days later.  That was the first week of June.  That rash stayed until October.  In the meantime, we tried everything we knew about.  We even gave in and went to the doctor for steroids.  They didn�t work this time.

In October, my husband got a hint from an unlikely source.  He was at the lawnmower shop for parts.  The man there told him about a cheap, easy and effective cure.  Relief from poison ivy is spelled W-I-L-L-O-W.  

Pick a handful of willow leaves.  Put in a pot with a couple of cups of water.  Boil until the water smells and turns green.  Do not do this in a pot with non-stick coating, it will ruin the coating and the pot can no longer be used for cooking.  Wash and dry the rash.  Wipe the willow water, as hot as you can stand it, on the rash and let air dry.  Don�t burn yourself with it.  It will stain fabric.  Do this twice a day until the rash disappears.  Left over water can be put in the refrigerator and reheated as needed.  Throw out after 5 days.  It should only take a day or two for the rash to go away.  My husband had to do it for two weeks but he had relief from the itching within minutes.

The leaves can be picked, put in a zipper seal bag and frozen for use in the winter and early spring.  Contrary to popular opinion, poison ivy is dangerous even when the vines and leaves are dead.

Kathy Vilseck is the Scrubbie Lady. Please visit her pages and order your supply of Scrubbies, some decorations and baskets. Thank you Kathy!