June 18, 2019

Don't Get Fooled by Poison Ivy

If you think you know what poison ivy looks like, think again. Poison ivy can take the form of a vine, shrub or ground cover. It has leaves that are shiny and leaves that are dull. Its edges can be smoothed or notched.

So how can it be recognized and avoided? The old phrase “leaves of three,” let it be” is a good way to do it, says Lou Paradise, president and chief of research of Topical BioMedics, Inc., makers of Topricin. And if the berries are white, we should “take flight.” That’s true whether you’re hiking in the woods or spending some time in your yard.

Poison ivy tops the list of plants to avoid, Paradise says, because it contains urushiol, an oily resin that binds to the skin on contact and may result in itching, burning skin eruptions. This rash-causing poison ivy sap is a clear liquid found in the plant’s leaves and the roots.

Urushiol oil is extremely potent, and only one nanogram (billionth of a gram) is needed to cause a rash, Paradise says. Even if you’ve never broken out you cannot assume you are immune; in fact, the more often you are exposed to urushiol, the more likely it is that you will break out. About 90% of the population develops an allergy to it.

What’s more, urushiol oil remains active for several years, so even handling dead leaves or vines can cause a reaction. In addition, oil transferred from the plant to other objects—gardening tools or an article of clothing—can cause the rash when it comes in contact with human skin.

(It’s also possible to get poison ivy from your pet. The primary danger to the pets themselves is ingesting the plant; if that happens, go to a vet immediately or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control line at 888-426-4435. Luckily, pets can’t “get” poison ivy, according to the company Pet Veterinary Insurance, because their coats are usually too long for the oil to reach their skin.To be on the safe side, Paradise says, bathe your dog or cat after exposure. Use thick rubber gloves, not latex.)

To prevent poison ivy, Paradise recommends that when going on a hike or walking through a wooded area, you minimize the possibility of exposure by wearing long pants, a shirt with long sleeves, booths and gloves. The same is true if you’re cutting down trees or mowing or removing brush. If you stay at a campsite, give it a once-over so you’re aware of any hazards. Look around any campsite.

Prior to any outdoor activity, it can also help to apply a cream or lotion that creates a barrier on the skin.

If you get poison ivy, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests that you:

Rinse your skin with lukewarm, soapy water – ideally, immediately after touching.

Wash your clothing, even down to your bootlaces, Paradise says, and use bleach if possible. The oil can stick to clothing, and if that touches your skin, can cause another rash.

Wash everything that may have the oil on its surface. Besides clothing, Paradise and the AAD say, the oil can stick to gardening tools, golf clubs and leashes. Wash with warm, soapy water.

Do not scratch, the AAD says. Scratching can cause an infection.

Leave blisters alone. If they open, don’t remove the overlying skin, because that skin can protect the wound beneath.

Take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation that you can buy at a drugstore. You can also add a cup of baking soda to a bath. Short, cool showers can help as well.

Consider applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. But talk to your doctor before applying an antihistamine cream, because that can actually worsen the rash.

Poison ivy can’t always be handled with self-care, though. Paradise says that symptoms requiring immediate medical attention include trouble breathing or swallowing; many rashes/blisters or a rash that covers most of the body; a rash on the genitals; swelling, especially of the eyelid.

For more information, visit topricin.com and the American Academy of Dermatology, aad.org.

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Don't Get Fooled by Poison Ivy

New Vitality Health Foods, Inc. Provides Tips on How to Naturally Treat Common Summertime Ailments

The New Vitality Health Foods, Inc staff are knowledgable in the variety of natural and homeopathic remedies the store carries, and can assist you in selecting the proper product.

People more vulnerable to food poisoning include children, the elderly, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system.

Orland Park, IL (PRWEB) May 28, 2014

Insect Bites

Before going outdoors, it is important to protect against disease carrying mosquitoes and tics by using an all natural insect repellent such as Buzz Away Extreme or Green Beaver. New Vitality Health Foods, Inc. carries both brands.

While most bites and stings will heal on their own, they can present some irritable reactions. New Vitality Health Foods, Inc. recommends the following natural remedies to help relieve insect bite pain, itching, and swelling:

1. Apply an ice pack or a cool wet cloth to a bite or sting for 15 to 20 minutes once an hour.

2. Try putting witch hazel or underarm deodorant on the bite to help stop itching.

3. An antihistamine, such as Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton, may help relieve itching, redness, and swelling. Don’t give antihistamines to a child unless you’ve checked with the doctor first.

4. New Vitality Health Foods Inc. carries Sting Stop by Boericke and Tafel, both help relieve itching and redness.

Watch for an extreme allergic reaction following an insect bite. Seek immediate medical attention if airway restriction occurs or extreme swelling at the bite sight.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Plants

The poison ivy rash can be transmitted by: direct contact with the plant; indirect contact when you touch pets, gardening tools, sports equipment, or other objects that had direct contact with the plant; or airborne contact from burning these plants, which releases particles of urushiol into the air that can penetrate the skin, eyes, nose, throat, or respiratory system. Poison ivy is extremely contagious. It is important bedding is washed daily and towels are not shared.

Symptoms, which generally last from one to two weeks, include:

  • Red streaks or patches
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Swelling
  • Blisters that may “weep” (leak fluid) and later crust over
  • Inflammation and a burning sensation

New Vitality Health Foods, Inc. recommends the following natural remedies to help relieve poison ivy symptoms:

1. Immediately wash the rash with mild soap, but do not scrub.

2. Put a wet cloth on the rash to ease pain and itching.

3. Homeopathic Rhus Tox for Poison Ivy Remedy by Hylands relieve poison ivy symptoms.

4. Baking soda is a natural remedy for the itchiness. To help relieve itching, place 1/2 a cup of baking soda in a bath tub filled with warm water. You can also mix three teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water and mix until it forms a paste. Apply this paste to the infected area to relieve itching and irritation.

5. Witch hazel can help relieve the itch of poison ivy and tightens skin. The cooling, soothing extract will not get rid of the rash, but it will calm it down.

6. Aloe vera will help to relieve itching skin. Compounds in aloe help to accelerate wound healing.

7. Tea tree oil soothes the itch of poison ivy and serves as an anti-inflammatory.

Summertime Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is a real risk when taking food outside the home for packed lunches, picnics, camping, and other outdoor events, especially in warmer weather. High-risk foods for contamination include meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, seafood, cooked rice and pasta, and ready-to-eat foods. People more vulnerable to food poisoning include children, the elderly, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system.

At first signs of symptoms, take equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. In water or some kind of soft food, take 1/2 tsp or more of activated charcoal (or capsules if you can swallow them). Repeat until symptoms stop. Both of these products are available at New Vitality Health Foods, Inc.


To help elevate the pain, redness and swelling that can accompany sunburn, New Vitality Health Foods, Inc. recommends:

1. Witch hazel is an incredible astringent has been shown to have long-lasting anti-inflammatory relief. Apply often for temporary relief.

2. Do not soak in soapy water because they can dry and irritate burned skin. Do not rub your skin, or you’ll irritate it further. In order to reduce pain, itching, and inflammation, try adding vinegar to bath water. Mix 1 cup of white or apple cider vinegar into a tub of cool water. Baking soda can also offer relief. Generously sprinkle baking soda into tepid bathwater. Instead of toweling off, let the solution dry on your skin. It is completely nontoxic, and it will soothe the pain.

3. Just Aloe Gel for sunburn will help soothe sunburn.

About New Vitality Health Foods, Inc.:

Established in 1988, New Vitality Health Foods, Inc. provides Chicagoland’s largest selection of allergy-free foods that have met their high standards for taste, quality, and nutrition. New allergy-free foods are introduced weekly. They also carry frozen foods, vitamins, herbs, homeopathic, aromatherapy, body care, pet care, household items, and much more. New Vitality features only the highest quality, effective nutritional supplements to support their customers’ total health. New Vitality Health Foods, Inc. is located at 9177 West 151st Street, Orland Park, IL 60462; (708) 403-0120; http://www.newvitalityhealthfoods.com.


New Vitality Health Foods, Inc. Provides Tips on How to Naturally Treat Common Summertime Ailments

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