The plant kingdom around us is filled with allies including sister plants that balance their counterparts. Like Jewelweed, the sister plant, or antidote to poison ivy. I don't know about you, but I hate getting a poison ivy rash. Some lucky few seem to be immune to it, but for most of the human population, contact with poison ivy results in maddeningly itchy rash. This uncomfortable skin reaction is caused by Urushiol, an oily compound created by poison ivy, oak, and sumac. This irritant sticks to skin and fabrics, and triggers the reaction. There are many home remedies suggested to treat poison ivy, some of which may cause skin irritation all on their own while being only moderately effective. No thanks.
Enter our herbal ally, Impatiens capensis, or Jewelweed!
This lovely little plant likes to grow in many of the same places as poison ivy- at the edges of wooded areas, paths, etc. Jewelweed also loves water, and I find it thriving the most near steam beds and in ditches. This plant is very easy to recognize when in bloom by its distinctive orange flowers.
Within the juicy hollow stems of this pretty plant is the natural antidote to neutralize urushiol. Once you find this helpful plant, using it is super easy! The juices alone are enough- just crushing the stem and leaves and applying that to effected skin will help. The botanical benefits of Jewelweed are water soluble, so you can steep the fresh plant material to make a tea, freeze to store, and use it that way.
I harvest this wild plant across a spread of areas, clean and chop it up, then steep it into a strong tea. I blend that with my immersion blender, and then strain it to really extract as much plant goodness as possible. The resulting vibrant green juice I then use as the full fluid amount for my Jewelweed Soap.
Made with moisturizing plant oils, shea butter, and soothing chamomile essential oil, this soap brings all the benefits of Jewelweed for counteracting poison ivy, oak, or sumac along with gentle cleansing and restoring balance to the skin.
Previously, I've had a hard time keeping this popular soap in stock. So this year, I made bigger batches and stashed away some of that beautiful steeped and strained juice in the freezer for additional batches to try to keep up with requests. Thank you all so much those who have asked for more of this soap!
Available now Here