| As its name indicates, Rhus tox. is a good remedy for poison ivy, although Anacardium is the #1 remedy for this painful, debilitating affliction. But the symptoms associated with Rhus tox. indicate many more uses for it. All symptoms responding to Rhus tox. are better with heat (such as hot shower) and continued movement: they are made worse by humidity (thus it is called the human barometer as the person can predict the weather better than any forecaster), worse when beginning to move (the first steps), and worse from resting. The person needing Rhus tox. feels better once he has overcome the initial stiffness and the movement is underway (the "rusty gate" syndrome). The sensation of stiffness is espcially in the joints (in Arnica it is in the muscles).
Rhus tox. is also used acutely to relieve herpes lesions (cold sores, genital herpes) and also sciatica with stiffness and tearing pains, which feel better when the person is moving around and worse when he is resting. Like Ant. tart. and Pulsatilla, Rhus tox. is a good remedy for chickenpox. It is the best remedy for any sprain or strain affecting ligaments anywhere in the body. Together with Arnica (for sore muscles), it will bring great relief to athletes who have overexerted themselves.