I am very lucky not to get poison oak, but many people suffer miserably at this time of year. So, this blog post is a Public Service Announcement: relief from poison oak is within reach, literally.
At the Not-So-Simple Living Fair this weekend, I took a mind-blowing workshop with a native Pomo woman named Corine Pearce, whose vast knowledge about local ecology is museum-worthy. She spoke about many different local plants and their native uses with great respect and admiration, but manzanita is her favorite. Every single part of the plant has use, from the berries and the bark. I will soon share recipes for manzanita cider, “Love Tea,” and other exciting concoctions.
She also revealed the many uses of the poison oak plant itself…
1. Harvest a live branch from a manzanita tree. Harvest as-is, with leaves on.
2. Boil the entire branch with leaves on in a large pot until the water turns black.
3. Pour the water from the pot into a lukewarm bath. Soak affected areas for treatment of poison oak.
For those of you who get poison oak, I would love to hear if this works. Let me know if you try it.