Ever walk in the forest and spot this beautiful plant with a tiny orange flower? It may be Jewelweed, which is actually poison ivy’s antidote. It often grows near poison ivy which is quite ironic. But Jewelweed isn’t just for preventing a poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak rash. It is also for bee stings, rashes from stinging nettle, and mosquito bites. So learn below how you can make your own Jewelweed poison ivy remedy to stop the itch.
I have always thought this plant was beautiful since I happen to love orange flowers. So a bird blessed me with a few plants in the raspberry plants last year.
Although it is an annual, it re-seeds itself easily. I went from 4 plants to about 100 this year. (See the picture above of a section of my raspberry patch.) I shouldn’t have allowed so many since I think it hurt the growth of my raspberries.
Lesson learned for next year.
There are two varieties of jewelweed: a pale yellow variety which is spotted in the woodlands along stream banks and other wet areas (impatients pallida) and the orange spotted one which can be seen in shady or sunny areas along damp areas (impatients capensis.)
I have the orange variety in the raspberry patch.
As mentioned above, Jewelweed is a member of the impatient family and is an annual. It is called balsam, snapweed, touch-me-not, or quick-in-the-hand. Its flowers can be orange or yellow with spots.
Not only is it beneficial for healing poison ivy, when young, it is a foragers delight. According to Mother Earth News, the tender stems can be collected when they are four to six inches high in June. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes in two changes of slightly salted water. (I know. That sounds odd–two changes of water but that was the recipe.)
Drain and then serve with butter plus a dash of salt and pepper or vinegar.
Mother Earth News author, William Beatty, mentions that he has eaten the young Jewelweed sprouts which are under 2 inches raw. I don’t think I am that adventurous.
Even the pods are edible if you can find them in September. Beatty states they are reminiscent of English walnuts.
Antidote for Poison Ivy
If you brush up against poison ivy, grab some Jewelweed and open up its stem. Rub the gooey contents of the stem where the poison ivy contacted the skin. It feels like water. The plant doesn’t gush with liquid.
Generally Jewelweed is beneficial until mid-summer. Afterwards it no longer has much sap left.
I am allergic to wild raspberries. They aren’t actually raspberries but are wineberries.
Their stems give me a rash similar to poison ivy. One of the plants was in the raspberry patch. I struggled to remove it and the stems kept touching my wrist.
An hour later, I saw the rash starting and quickly rubbed jewelweed on it and it disappeared!
I also had poison ivy or something similar. Although I put calamine over the rash, I still itched.
I grabbed some jewelweed and rubbed it against the rash, and it magically stopped itching. I had to reapply each day for a couple of days but eventually, the rash scabbed over.
As I mentioned in my poison ivy remedy article, jewelweed soap doesn’t work for me once I develop a rash.
Jewelweed Poison Ivy Remedy Recipes
Jewelweed can only be used fresh to make the following recipes. It loses it effectiveness once it dries.
#1 Making a liquid to store in the freezer
Cut the stems, leaves, and flowers of the plant. Add to 2 parts water to one part jewelweed. Boil it down half of its original volume. Store the mixture in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. (Some websites mention 5 days.)
Alternatively, you can make ice cubes with the liquid and store in the freezer. Use when needed.
#2 Make a salve:
Here are 2 recipes on how to make a salve.
#3 Add it to Apple Cider vinegar:
I made this recipe.
- Grab one or more jewelweed stems in flower.
- Grind them up in a high speed blender like a Blendtec. Alternatively, use your food processor. You want to macerate the stems, leaves, and flowers.
- Add one cup of mashed jewelweed to two cups of apple cider vinegar.
- Let it sit for no more than 4 weeks and strain the jewelweed.
Use when needed. It will only last about a year.
Alternatively, you can use witch hazel in lieu of apple cider vinegar.
Join the Conversation:
Do you use a Jewelweed poison ivy remedy?