If you find yourself or a loved one afflicted with a case of poison ivy, you’ll likely do anything for relief. One fairly easy FREE overnight poison ivy remedy for is Jewelweed.
What is Jewelweed?
Jewelweed, also known as spotted touch-me-not, or orange balsam is actually Impatiens capensis. Common to bottomland soils, ditches and along creekside beds, Jewelweed is easy to spot, as and often grows nearby poison ivy.
Medicinally Jewelweed contains two methoxy-1, four napthoquinine which is an anti-inflammatory and fungicide which happens to be the active ingredient in Preparation H! The identification of COX-2 inhibitory napthoquinone salts supports the use of jewelweed for articular rheumatism, pain, and swelling. (source Oku H, Ishiguro K. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitory 1,4-naphthoquinones from Impatiens balsamina L. Biol Pharm Bull. 2002;25:658-660.12033510 )
The fresh plant will last up to a week in the refrigerator.
Natural Poison ivy treatments
Collect the fresh leaves and flowers and gently macerate them in your hands by rubbing them into a pulpy mass. Then simply apply the crushed mass as a poultice on the affected areas. Below is a photograph of my pinky finger before and one hour AFTER treatment with fresh macerated jewelweed.
Jewelweed Ice Cubes
Carefully gather fresh leaves, flowers, and stems of the jewelweed plant and chop them well. Divide the chopped plant material into ice cube trays and top off with water. Freeze at least 4 hours, or until the cubes are solid. Apply the jewelweed cubes to any areas needing relief from burning, itching poison ivy. These are also quite effective to help prevent a rash if used on skin that has recently been exposed to urushiol oil.
Jewelweed Salve or Ointment
If you’re looking for long term relief you can make an easy ointment and apply it as often as necessary.
Jewelweed salve works best if the herb is allowed to infuse for 12-24 hours first. Chop 2-3 cups worth of fresh jewelweed and place them in a 2-quart canning jar.
Add 1/2 cup of carrier oil. If you’re using coconut oil, it’s okay if the oil is in a solid state. It will melt and infuse with the crushed herbs.
Place the jar in a crockpot set on high. Fill the slow cooker with hot water. Allow the herb to infuse in the oil for at least 12 hours, or overnight for best results.
The next day, strain off the plant material, ensuring that all plant material is completely removed from the infused oil. Add 1-2 teaspoons of grated beeswax, stirring until melted.
Pop two vitamin E capsules with a pin or needle and squeeze the contents of the capsules into the infusion. Swirl the jar gently to mix. The vitamin E acts as a natural antioxidant and helps to prolong the shelf life of the salve.
Pour the warm oil into sterilized jars and cap tightly. Let them solidify.
If you don’t have access to fresh jewelweed in your area, you can purchase the salve online here.
Apply the ointment directly to the rash as often as desired, usually several times throughout the day. This remedies the itching right away and also helps the rash to dry up rapidly.
Stovetop Ointment Directions
To make an ointment simmer (on very low) 2 cups of chopped jewelweed in a small amount 1/4-1/3 c. of carrier oil (such as almond or virgin coconut oil).
Carefully strain the herb, add a teaspoon or so of grated beeswax or beeswax pellets, stir until melted. Remove from the heat.
Pour into a sterilized jar. Keeps in the fridge for Months
This wonderful healing salve can be used on everything from Beestings to mosquito bites to diaper rash.
If you KNOW that you’ve been exposed to Poison Ivy or Oak, crush jewelweed and rub vigorously over the exposed area to prevent the rash from forming to begin with.
How long does Poison Ivy Rash last?
The poison ivy rash can last as long as 6 weeks, without treatment. With treatment, it generally lasts about 7 days. If more than 1/3 of the body is affected, or if the rash is predominantly on your face or genitals, you might want to consider seeing a physician and getting a course of oral corticosteroids.
In addition to applying salve several times throughout the day, we take vitamin C to help improve collagen synthesis required for healing the skin as well as Vitamin E to help boost the immune system and heal the skin quickly. We’ve found the combination of jewelweed, vitamin C and vitamin E to be the perfect combination to end poison ivy rapidly without scarring.