In the dead of winter it is hard to imagine getting poison ivy, but somehow, some way Ben always manages to contract this itchy rash in February. Just because there are no leaves on this annoyingly invasive plant, doesn't mean that the irritating oils are not present.
I love how most of the time Mother Nature seems to gift us with plant remedies in season, when we need them most. One of the exceptions I have found with this "rule" is jewelweed. This juicy, water loving plant is a common cure for poison ivy and nettle burns and is best harvested in August here in zone 6b. This makes sense as we are more likely to be out in nature, contracting poison ivy in the summer BUT this is one remedy we like to have on hand year round.
It becomes abundantly clear why this member of the impatiens genus is also known as "touch-me-not." When you bump into one of its fruits, you have the joy of watching the seeds explode everywhere. I believe that this native plant acquired its common name due to the way the water beads up on the leaves, creating little "jewels."
You can usually find this beauty along stream beds, sometimes right next to stinging nettles. It's pretty convenient to have the remedy right next to the culprit, right? When fresh and in season, you just have to grab a stalk of jewelweed, squish its stem and apply its sap directly to your skin irritation for some instant relief of itching and burning.
We wanted to create a product that could live in our medicine cabinet, ready to bring us relief when we need it, whatever the time of year. We harvest jewelweed when it reaches it peak, chop it up and soak all of its juicy goodness in apple cider vinegar for 6 weeks before we press it out. We also macerate (soak) witch hazel in skin supporting plantain for 6 weeks. We combine these strained potions with soothing aloe vera to create our Jewelweed Juice; a spray that helps stop the itch while calming inflammation of the skin.
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