Well, the inevitable happened, and I too have poison ivy. I don't remember ever having it before, so I've been asking around for home remedies, the things people swear by. I knew about jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), but had not had call to use it until now. Luckily there is a small patch growing in our backyard, and another large patch on our walk to the community garden. Today the girls indulged me with a first aid stop on our walk today. Here is the patch of jewelweed, which is about waist-high, with a succulent fat juicy stalk, and just a few yellow blossoms starting to open:Literally right next to the patch is this explosion of poison ivy - they often grow side by side - isn't that convenient? Eliza just walked along singing out "poison I-vy, poison I-vy", pointing out plant after plant after plant - some of it bushy, some of it vining.
After I had taken part of one plant to rub directly on my arm (I split the stem, unrolled it and rubbed the juice onto my patch of blisters), I harvested three more to stuff into jars to make a tincture. They have very shallow roots, so it is easy to pull out the whole plant if you're not careful. What I am trying this time around is covering the plant (I used the whole thing minus the roots) with alcohol and letting it sit for 2 weeks. I will have to post a picture of what this concoction looks like at that time - it is supposed to be VERY GREEN.
I have a friend who is dropping off a small amount of this very mix that she made last season - it should get me through this bout and then I'll be ready with my own when and if it strikes again! I'll let you know how it works for me.