View Full Version : Remedies for your itchy ails......

04-12-2004, 21:29
I’m generally accustomed to contracting some form of rash every spring or summer. Whether it be a heat related rash, bug bite or contact with poisonous plants.

Does anyone have a “special recipe” or “topical application“, useful in treating bug bites, or poisonous varieties of plants like poison ivy or sumac.

I’m not talking about those over the counter calamine based ointments which seem to do nothing for me but turn pink and flake off after an hour. Rather, I’m interested in those outrageous home remedies based on the knowledge passed down through generations of mountain folk and maybe long distance hikers.

For instance I’ve heard that a moistened tea bag placed on top of a bug bite can relieve itchy symptoms.
I’ve found that the only thing that works for me to take nice soothing dip in a swimming pool with lots of chlorine.

04-12-2004, 21:54
Jewel weed is an old remedy for poison ivy. It is also known as touch me not and comes in a yellow variety as well as orange. It is a succulent plant that grows 3-6 feet tall and is quite common in many places along the trail. The juice from the stems soothes ivy rash. My Audubon flower guide says it may also work on athletes foot.

Bee stings: slice of onion works very well but I don't often have a fresh one in my pack. Urine and dirt works too but is a little too folky for some. Plain urine works too and has the benefit of being sterile.

Heat rash: don't know of a good remedy other than something like Gold Bond powder.

04-12-2004, 22:33
Good ol' hydrocortizone for the jungle butt that usually hits starting in day 4 of a long hike!

04-13-2004, 08:34
wet tobacco on a bee sting takes the sting out. Mud will also work.

toothpaste on a mosquito bite will take the itch out.

Hammock Hanger
04-13-2004, 09:53
I've been told urine is a good remedy for athletes foot .. Sue/HH

steve hiker
04-13-2004, 09:56
From another hiking site:

There's a relatively new poison ivy cream called Zanfel. It's expensive. Like $30-$40 for a one-ounce tube. But, it's amazing. As soon as you see the start of the blisters, or as soon as you know you touched the leaves, put the Zanfel on the infected area. It will STOP the spread of the rash, and will STOP the itching. Well worth the weight and cost to carry. It saved my skin on the PCT in 2003.

art to linda
04-13-2004, 18:18
suddsy ammonia will stop itch from bug(mosquito) bites and also sting & rash from nettle plants

09-03-2005, 07:15
I, too, have used Zanfel for immediate relief and even to chase a very serious rash of poison ivy away after repeated uses. I've found a cheaper product with the same results. "Tecnu" is about $7-8 if I remember correctly, maybe it was $12 I dunno but it was a lot better than paying $40 for the Zanfel which I have a few times. Granted, I'd pay $40 over and over if that was the only product...that stuff is amazing and worth every penny for what it does. Tecnu is not quite as harsh of a grit as Zanfel is, therefore doesn't break the skin as bad and for that reason I seemed to heal quite a bit faster. You can also use it like Zanfel and wash an exposed area with it or exposed items (shoe laces, hiking poles etc ) and it will kill the poison. Tecnu also has ounces of cream instead of 1 with Zanfel. I bought mine at Walgreens.

09-03-2005, 09:05
Not homemade, but works great- witch hazel. Great temporary relief for all things itchy. For bee stings, it's mud, hands down.

Mr. Clean
09-06-2005, 06:10
Forget the ointments and creams. I second the use of Jewell Weed and have used it for 35 years. Learn to identify it. Simply grab some leaves and stem, crush it in your hands so it's good and sappy, and then use it to scratch the hell out of your itch. Try not to scratch for a few minutes and the itch will go away. For really bad PI, you may have to repeat. Really, learn what it looks like, I know you've all seen it growing.

09-07-2005, 02:57
Careful with the tecnu. I usually get a case of PI every summer. Tecnu has always worked well for me. Supposedly it draws out the oils or something like that. Rub it on dry skin for a minute or two, wash off preferably with soap. Word of warning...make sure you rinse it off thoroughly! If you don't, you are basically spreading the oils around. The first time I tried it I didn't really wash it off that well. My entire arm was literally covered with a rash by the next day and it wasn't from scratching!
Besides tecnu and hydrocortizone, there is also Aveeno. It's made with oatmeal, supposedly good for the itch. I had to switch to it one summer because I used hydrocortizone too much and had a minor reaction to it (a rash on top of a rash). Now I use a combo of the three and no scratching!

The Cheat
09-07-2005, 08:42
Bee stings - Put meat tenderizer on it. Works great.

Poison Ivy, or any type of itch - Wash affected area with the hottest water you can stand for as long as you can stand. This doesn't help the rash at all, but it quells the itch by drawing the histamines out of the area.