It cannot be said too often that poisonous plants cause far less harm than might be expected. In 'Accidental poisoning deaths in British children 1958-77' published by the British Medical Journal, Neil C Fraser reports on a total of 598 poisoning deaths of children under 10 years of age. In the period covered only three deaths were attributed to plants. Even this low number is overstated since one death was due to fungi and in one of the other two 'the role of ingestion in the child's demise is doubtful'. Thus there may have been only one confirmed plant death, with 'hemlock' being the plant responsible, in twenty years. Fraser's analysis makes it clear that medication, household cleaning materials and cosmetics pose a much higher risk than poison plants.
Choosing to use essential oils for poison ivy is an effective remedy, but there are a few potential risks of which you should be aware. The concentrated chemicals in essential oils can make skin inflammation even worse, particularly in people with sensitive skin, and some people are also allergic to the base plant/ herb of certain essential oils. While all poison ivy reactions may seem serious, it is critical to seek medical attention if the rash spreads to a large part of your body, the pain isn’t alleviated by at- home remedies , or if you experience any respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath. If you have been exposed to poison ivy, it is usually best to speak with a doctor before going for any alternative remedy such as using essential oils, to determine your individual risks.
The pills contain a micro amount of the oil from the poison ivy plant and by taking very small doses of the aggravating oil your body has time to build up a resistance to it. I have friends and family who once exposed to the plant end up going to the hospital for shots of allergy little pill can prevent and or reduce the reaction to the oil that humans find so irritating. Each spring my husband and son usually take a preventative dose for the summer and a few again when exposure was possible. It seems to really help if you remember that you have some in the medicine cabinet. Which I did not remember until Tom reminded me and I took the starter dose of about 6 of the tiny pills over 6 hours. They are working to calm the pain, swelling and itching but I should have started earlier.