Rhus Tox is a homeopathic remedy that is used to treat arthritis, rheumatism, backaches, sprains, stiffness in the joints and the flu. It also used for itchy skin ailments that produce red, burning or swollen pustules as with chicken pox, poison ivy, hives and shingles.


Rhus Tox gets its name from its primary ingredient, Rhus toxicodendron L., the biological name for poison ivy. It belongs to the Anacadiaceae family, which also includes cashews.


According to Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium, "Rhus" is from the ancient Greek word "rhous" meaning "Sumac." Toxicodendron is the name for "poison tree."


According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Rhus Tox is used in homeopathy under its principle of treating diseases or conditions with natural substances that when taken by healthy people result in the same expression of symptoms as in the diseased state. Therefore, poison ivy is used to treat similar and some of the very same conditions that it causes.


Applying this homeopathic remedy as a treatment requires an accurate assessment of the patient's physical state and condition to choose the most effective potency of Rhus Tox.


Taking Charge of Your Health of the University of Minnesota cites on 1983 study of Rhus Tox. Patients did not have any significant improvements because the Rhus Tox was not administered in unique dosages for the patients. Furthermore, do not self administer Rhus Tox.


Taking Charge of Your Health further relates a 1989 study, where homeopathic doctors assessed and prescribed individualized treatments of Rhus Tox to fibromyalgia patients. These patients had better outcomes than the placebo group.