An article written by Randal Jones in Wilderness Way Magazine titled Poison Ivy: Protecting and Healing yourself Naturally details how to immunize yourself from getting poison ivy each year. An excerpt from the article is below:
The first step in immunizing yourself is to gather a young budding poison ivy leaf in the spring with a pair of tweezers, and eat it. Then, as the leaves grow, you will consume one leaf per day until you are “stuffing down” a mature leaf. And, I mean stuffing. The less chewing you do, the better. Big leaves should be cut down to pieces that you can swallow whole. After you have “finished off’ a mature leaf, the immunization process, which can take three to four weeks, is completed.
If you can not get yourself to munch on a poison ivy leaf, you can encapsulate the leaves and swallow them as a daily medication. Encapsulating them is a wiser choice, because you do not run the risk of introducing the leaves’ poison oil to the skin around the mouth and lips. If you are just going to “pop” them in your mouth, make sure you are using tweezers and that you do not make any contact with your skin. The mucus membrane inside your mouth will protect it from any harmful effects. Always drink a glass of water after you ingest poison ivy.
If you missed the fresh spring leaves, you can cut a mature poison ivy leaf one eighth of an inch wide and one half inch long, and ingest it. Gradually increase the size of the cut out leaf pieces until you reach the dimensions of a mature leaf. If any physical problem occurs that seems to be related to your consumption of poison ivy, discontinue its use and contact your doctor. But, I never found or have heard of anyone having a physical problem occurring from this method of poison ivy immunization.
The immunization will last for one year, more or less. For me, it lasted almost two years, and for the herbalist who taught me this “trick,” it lasted a little less than a year. So, for most people, it is best to repeat the procedure every year, even though it is possible that just one three to four week immunization period will be enough to last a lifetime.
This immunization does not mean that you are able to roll around in a poison ivy patch. The amount of immunity is different for every person. Even though you might be able to roll around in poison ivy, it is not worth the risk. But if you immunize yourself in this way, you will be able to walk through a poison ivy patch with no ill effects.
Immunizing yourself from poison ivy in this way is not a far-fetched idea. Your doctor, at your request, will immunize you by injecting you with a series of poison ivy extract. I personally love the alternative of immunizing myself, because I hate shots, and despise the idea of paying someone to stick me with a sharp implement even more.
This makes a lot of sense if you're allergic to poison ivy (like me) and are planning on doing a lot of outdoors activities. It would be worth a try to immunize yourself from poison ivy. I would like to try this and see how effective it is. There is some more info in this article I will post at a later date about treating poison ivy with some other natural remedies.
Try this at your own risk. Kentucky Preppers Network or Wilderness Way is not responsible for any ill effects of trying this. Although it has been tried and has worked for many.