Poison Ivy.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Re: Poison Ivy Remedies
From: bbennett.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Barbara Bennett)
Date: 19 Jun 1995 20:59:22 GMT

>Anyone know of any effective herbal remedies for poison ivy? Thanks.

Jewelweed (juices from leaves/stems applied to the poison ivy affected area relieve the itchiness/swelling). Jewelweed often grows in the same vicinity as poison ivy...

From: iss.ripco.com (Robert M.K.)

>Anyone know of any effective herbal remedies for poison ivy? Thanks.

I posted this last summer, and quite a few people wrote back telling me how well that jewelweed had worked for them... Other than not getting the rash in the FIRST place... I haven't heard of a better remedy.

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
as a relief from Poison Ivy rash.

I first heard of using Jewelweed for poison ivy some years ago, and had varying amounts of success with it; but in the summer of 1988, I developed a SEVERE case of the rash on my feet & ankles, such that I couldn't even wear a pair of shoes; the area between my toes was especially bad, as this area never seemed to dry completely out, and the blisters would continually spread. Commercial preparations gave me fair relief at best... it was at this point I decided to try a different remedy. The following "receipe" is a slight modification of my original formula... but the results myself and others have had using this FAR exceed any drug-store concoction that I have EVER used... spreading of blisters was halted IMMEDIATELY after the first application, and all blisters were dried up within 3 days.!

I have read about using jewelweed tea as a preventative, and using some of the juice in bathwater, especially after walking in areas where poison ivy had been seen... I have had no experience with this, but I'm sure it couldn't hurt.

Gather the entire plant, leaves, stems, and all; the plant is very succulent and juicy... I have never had a need to add extra water, but if you do, use distilled (no need - the herb isn't sterile, either. -Henriette). Don't be greedy, either trim tops & outer branchs, or selectively take entire plants from the center of a crowded stand. One large (4-foot) plant should be adequate for the largest rash on one person. Plants will lose turgor and wilt quickly after cutting, this is OK, just makes it easier to emulsify.

Liquify the plants in a blender at the highest speed possible. Then extract the juice by filtering thru cloth, common strainer, or fruit press... a little pulp in the mix won't hurt, this will settle out after a couple hours, anyway. Use immediately, or refrigerate... this stuff spoils rapidly at room temperature..!!

Apply the juice to the infected area with a common paint brush... I've found 1 to 2" size works best. Blow-dry the area as you apply it with a hair dryer on low heat... after several coats of 'paint,' an orange-colored "skin" will develop. This "skin" will protect un-infected areas against the poison ivy allergen.

Repeat this procedure as needed, especially first thing in the morning, and before bedtime. Be sure to use common sense in keeping any fluid that happens to come from blisters away from unprotected areas... yourself AND others. Keeping the infected area as dry as possible will hasten the healing; continue application until no more blisters are present... usually about 3 days.

Ironically, jewelweed favors growing in areas of similiar habitat as poison ivy, therefore it can often be found nearby, prefering moist ground, near water, or often, even in shallow water. It grows rapidly in ideal infirons, but usually doesn't reach significant size until mid-summer; therefore, it might pay to keep a bit frozen in the fridge from the previous year for early-season use. The extract tends to spoil rapidly, even at cooler temperatures, so I wouldn't recommend keeping it for much more than a week without freezing... the fresh solution works best, anyway.

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis; I. biflora) alias: spotted touch-me-not, silverweed, is truly an amazing plant... I would recommend anyone who has a damp-ish area to cultivate some (don't do this - it'll take over. Pick it where it grows already instead. -Henriette). The plant produces both cleitogamous (self-fertilized), and chasmogamous (cross-fertilized) flowers. Mature seed pods will build tension as they dry, and can "shoot" seeds 5 feet away when activated by a slight disturbance. It is humorous to watch hummingbirds "trigger" the pods as they feed on the nectar in late summer.

From: joseph.davis.grape.net (Joseph Davis)

>Anyone know of any effective herbal remedies for poison ivy? Thanks.

I have no idea if it works on Poison Ivy, For poison oak we use California Bay. Umbellaria californica. It grows where poison oak grows. Collect a bushel of leaves steep them down to an extract. Rub on the areas that are breaking out. Before you come in contact with Poison Oak rub it on. If you are already infected the infected area should be back to normal within a hour. I have used it for 40 years. I wish it was my idea, but alas the indians have been using it for years.

From: bella.kinney.channel1.com (Bella Kinney)

Frequently found growing near poison ivy in the east is Jewelweed or wild touchme not. This reletive if the impaitiense is a remedy for both Poison Ivy and mosquito bites or sunburn. Crush the leaves into a wad of wet pulp and apply it to the skin irritation. Some people call this plant American Aloes but it is not an aloe at all. Bella

From: Jeanne Ross <ross.together.net>

>Frequently found growing near poison ivy in the east is Jewelweed or

This is the remedy that we use. We have poison ivy growing along the roadside in front of our house and jewelweed growing all over the place in the back. Some time I'm going to try to transplant some jewelweed to the ivy patch and see if it will take over. This was recommended to me but I've yet to get in there and try it.