Nature has its own process when it comes to life and death and all the processes in between. No matter how much we try to relativize everything, we will all fall to that conclusion that everything that is existent and all the things that will come after that will have a certain explanation behind. There may be some things that we cannot explain, but there will come a time that we will be able to.
Before, everything seems to be a mystery to mankind but with the rise of the scientific concepts everything became less enigmatic and more comprehensible. There are so many things that went under this process including the sun, the earth and so many things including the poison ivy. Many people believed that this plant is a gift from the gods that can help women with their fertility and love problems. However, this is not the case if we are talking about the modern age.
Poison ivy can be found in the northern American continent and most parts in Asia. It can be seen as a vine that crawl the ground or trees or shrubs that can grow up to 3 to 4 feet tall. It has three alternate leaves that do not have ragged edges. The leaves are light green to dark green depending on the level of maturity. During fall, the leaves will turn to yellow or red. These would produce white berries that contain a white sap and the seeds.
This plant serves as food to many animals and insects and the seeds are being spread in the same way. However, the benefits can be in the opposite side if we are talking about humans.
Effects of Poison Ivy
Poison ivy can cause rashes to the skin if the person gets in contact with the sap. The rash is painful and has a burning sensation. Some people would get a blister especially those who have an allergic reaction to the sap. According to statistics, there are about 350,000 people who are being affected by poison ivies in the US. Although there are really few people who have an allergic reaction to these plants, repeated exposure would result to severe allergic reactions. The blister will also bulge and will contain water inside.
All these effects are caused by urushiol. It is the oil based compound that is stored in the sap of the plant. Because of the fact that it is oil based, it cannot be removed easily. It will not evaporate over time like water based compounds. The truth is that it can stay in its place for over a year even in the dead plants.
In science, these series of effects is called urushiol induced contact dermatitis. This is because the chemical compound will be delivered to the cells of the skin and will cause some cells to swell. This is the reason behind the watery blister caused by the poison ivy. This will all happen in less than 10 minutes.
The rash and round up that comes out in the skin can be cured. However, it is not an easy task. The oil based compound cannot be solved by water alone. You have to wash the contact point within ten minutes or you can expect the rash to appear in several minutes. You can also use alcohol in order to dissolve the oil based compound because oil is soluble in alcohol. There are some people who are using heat in order to solve the problem including the rash and the blisters; this is not a cure and this will not be the sole solution on how get rid of poison ivy rashes. The truth is the heat will be able to hasten the process. Urushiol can only evaporate with 200 degrees Celsius of heat. No person can withstand this kind of heat because of the fact that it can damage the skin and the muscles much more than the effects of urushiol. Washing it in time is the very first thing to do; if you don’t have alcohol, water and soap will do to get rid of poison ivy rashes.
For more protection, you can spray chilled vinegar into the contact point. Vinegar is basically an acid but it is also composed of some kind of alcohol. Alcohol has the capability to dissolve oil. Although much of the urushiol is already absorbed by the skin, some of the compound is still on the skin, considering the fact that water alone cannot solve the problem. The cold temperature of the vinegar will help prevent the spreading of the compound which is inside the skin already. This will allow the person affected with the compound to solve the problem in an easier way. An ice pack will also help in solving the problem and to get rid of poison ivy rashes. The same is true with all the other alcoholic chemicals and other beverages. However, do not put strong acids so as to avoid further damage.
The clothes that were worn on the time of the contact may also be contaminated by the compound. Most people would just get rid of the clothes because it is not easy to get rid of the compound. However, there are ways in order to solve this problem. You can soak the shirt in warm water and soap to remove the compound since you cannot use any type of alcohol in order to avoid damage to the clothes. After soaking the clothes after some time, you can start washing the clothes in warm water.
Make sure that you are going to wear cool and loose clothing. This may not take out the rash and the blisters but this will prevent any contact on the affected area. This will also prevent the body from taking in any excess heat and will prevent the chemical compound from spreading farther in its area. You can also apply calamine to the affected area in order to prevent the worsening of the itch. If you don’t have any access to common household materials and all the other medicine especially if you are in a camp, you can use banana peeling or use a bandage with potato paste. The chemicals that are found in these fruits can help restore the health of the skin and help the rash and round upheal faster. You can also apply jewelweed plant extract which can be found in most areas. You can boil these ones or pound them until the extract comes out. Apply this extract to the affected area and you will see changes in no time.
For those people who have allergies to urushiol, some other measures might be required. In order to prevent spending a lot of money, you can use household materials such as pouring Epsom salt on bath water or the use of oatmeal powder. Aloe vera gel can also help. This is because Aloe Vera can help in regenerating the skin health by increasing the nutrients that are being received by the skin cells. This will allow them to have more resistance and regenerating power. This will also help the cells fight the infection and the compound that was integrated in the system. Witch hazel cream can also help prevent further spreading of the rashes. Some of these plants can be found near the shore so you can use sea water to treat the round up or rash. Sea water has the ability to clean oil because of its properties. Tea tree oil extract can also help. If you don’t have one, you can use tea bags. If these would not do anything good then you would have to consult the doctor so he can prescribe the right actions to be taken.
How to Get Rid of Poison Ivy Plant?
We cannot totally get rid of poison ivy rashes if we are not going to get rid of poison ivy plants. The fact that these things are always around will also make the scenario worse especially if there are a lot of kids around the area. There are many ways in order to get rid of poison ivy plants. But the first thing that has to be done is to clearly identify the poison ivy plant itself. This is because we don’t want to destroy other plants that are literally harmless and the fact that there are a lot of plants which can look similar to the poison ivy plants such as virgin’s bower and box elder plants.
There are some characteristics that you should always remember whether you are on the hunt to find these plants or just strolling in a plant growth area.
- There are always three leaves which are positioned in an alternate fashion. There are also some plants that have these characteristics but they are all related to the poison ivy plant so you might as well avoid them too.
- The vine or the stem of the poison ivy plant will always be hairy. The other relatives of the poison ivy plant may not have these characteristics but they are equally dangerous so you might as well avoid them and base the characteristics on the leaves.
- These plants will always have white berries especially in their mating season.
These are the things that you should always remember especially if you want to find out which of the plants in your area are not going to be good for the people.
To get rid of poison ivy plants, you have to take it out right from the root. This is because the ivy plant has the ability to regenerate if it still has its main source of nutrition. You would have to cut this out or dig in to the roots. Make sure that you would wear gloves that are thick in order to avoid getting in contact with the sap and the extract. This is going to be easy if you are just dealing with a bunch of vines which are scattered on the ground or climbing the other large trees in the area. This does not mean that everything would be easy. You have to remember that the poison ivy plant has a lot of hair in its vines and stems. These ones may not contain the sap but they are equally itchy and they can cause some rashes on the skin too. The roots are also intact in the ground or in the stems of larger plants. This means that pulling them out might not be that easy. You can use some tools in order to get the roots out.
You can use a large blade in order to cut down the poison ivy shrub right at the base. This is because the shrubs have larger stems and much larger roots so it is not possible to pull them out with your bare hands. On top of that, the stems are not in a single file so there are many points of attack. You have to wear long sleeved jacket in order to protect your arms. You also have to wear a thick denim pants to protect the legs. Once you have cut down the shrub, you have to dig the roots out to totally kill the plant. Once you have done this, the job is not over yet. This is because the sap is oil based and they don’t die with the plant. They can last in that part for a year if you won’t do something. You can burn the plants in order to evaporate the sap. The sap can be found in the main parts of the plant and they can evaporate since the center of the fire can always reach 200 degrees Celsius. You have to wear a mask because the smoke and the evaporated sap can still irritate the skin and the other parts of the body. You can also bury the cut down plants in order to prevent people from getting in contact with these ones.
If you cannot dig out the roots, especially if the poison ivy plants are overgrown already, you can apply certain herbicides at the part that is left standing on the ground. This will kill the remaining part and prevent the poison ivy plant from growing again from the roots. If you are going to do this make sure that the other plants in the area will not be affected. If you cannot use herbicides you can use other methods to kill the ivy plants without uprooting it. You can use vinegar or boiling water mixed with salt and soap. Boiling water will help loosen the plant and this will allow the soap and the salt to dehydrate it. The vinegar on the other hand will be able to neutralize the sap in order for it not to affect the people who will come in contact with these plants. These will prevent any further injuries to anyone and this will prevent the plant from spreading. Using the water and vinegar mixture is actually very effective since anyone can do it without any hassle. The plant dies with regular use of this method especially if you are dealing with shrubs. If you are dealing with vines then it is best to pull them out.
These are naturally occurring living organisms but we must know how to get rid of poison ivy plants in order to prevent other people from being affected by the rashes and the blisters. These may not be deadly diseases but they are surely painful. And they are preventing us from enjoying the envir