Today’s urban homesteading lesson is about jewel weed and its natural healing powers for the skin, especially for speeding up the healing process for poison ivy. A week ago while filming my adult sons make a teeter totter out of felled trees, I felled into a patch of the evil ivy. I bought iverest but it has only spread.
As a kid my father would dig jewelweed up, boil it and then freeze it in ice cube trays, having it available all summer long. I was convinced that it eased the itching of mosquito and chigger bites too. He didn’t agree but I just read a lot of interesting facts about it and it is useful for insect bites, see here
Jewel weed is a form of impatiens and are often called touch me nots as the little blossom will pop off as if spring loaded when touched.
They do not grow in the sun, they prefer shady areas along creeks or run offs. Be careful, you may find yourself tangling with more poison ivy as it grows near it, being the antidote.
So back to poison ivy. Here is what it looks like on my knee. The big ugly bruise is from the fall as well. It is what I get for wearing flip flops in the woods right after a rain.
Oops, upside down.
So I ventured out in my community. I live in an urban area but also close to little stretches of rural bliss. I found a shady road and after a little while I spotted some yellow blossoms. It was growing right in the middle of poison ivy and yep… Wearing those flip flops again. I very carefully stretched and plucked the plants. They come right out, roots and all.
This is what it looks like.
This is what the roots and stems look like,
I would have liked to have found more but this was it.
Careful wash off the roots. It is a juicy stem and you don’t want to lose any of it.
You can cut the stems and rub directly on the affected are or make a batch to use a few times.
To make a batch, cut the stems and place in a pan of water. I only use filtered, it is just safer.
Boil and let cool. The object is to get all the juices out of the plant.
Strain it. It will be an amber color
Freeze it in ice cube tray, put cubes in freezer bag when frozen. When you need it, rub it on the rash or bite while it melts.
I am going to mix some into a small bottle of Dr. Bronners and use in the bath this week.
Watching boys ride the teeter totter was so worth it!
FAILURE….. The jewel weed did not ease my poison ivy like it did when I was a kid. I guess my concoction was off.
I ended up putting the apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and it is making it better.