Sunday, May 15, 2005

jewelweed and poison ivy

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIn this picture there is some shiny, somewhat reddish poison oak/ivy surrounded by very young jewelweed plants.  In another week or so, the jewelweed will be knee high with orange or yellow flowers that are sort of a cross between a trumpet and a snapdragon.  The leaves are bluish green, and when there is moisture on them it beads up and sparkles - hence the name "jewelweed".

Jewelweed is a wondrous healer of many summer maladies - most of which are found wherever it grows.  Stinging nettle rash is almost immediately relieved by rubbing the juice of the plump stem on the burning skin, mosquito bites stop itching, and poison ivy or oak heals very quickly.

My favorite story about jewelweed occurred while I lived and worked on a very large farm situated amidst a very old forest.  One of the farm workers had gotten help planting from his bride, who wandered off into the woods during the day to make like a bear.  Apparently she had been WAY too close to poison, and the following day when he came to work, it was quite obvious that she had shared it with him.  The poor boy was nearly unable to walk. 

I went quickly to the creek and picked a mass of jewelweed.  It went into the blender, and I gave him a handful of the mush and sent him into the bathroom to put some of the liquid on his oozing rash.  The rest of the jewelweed was added to some melt and pour soap base for him to take home.

Within a very short time - by lunch - he was feeling much better, and we kept the original handful in a dish in the fridge for him to apply from time to time.  By the next day he was nearly healed, except for the scabs from where he had scratched it open the first night.

The soap worked wonders on his companion, as well.


1 comment:

Jessica Joy said...

Thank You. I was trying to id early poison ivy and think it is jewel weed instead.


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