Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ah, Jewelweed

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.


Lisa said...

HOw cool is that turtle in your header???? Where did you see him?

Ick, sorry about the posion ivy! Good to have an earthy friend with the jewelweed tincture!

Jewelweed is the best!
Lisa :)

Chrystal said...

Yuck to the poison ivy, but on the bright side, your pictures are great! So pretty and green.

bigbooty said...

Lisa - he was in the gravel road at the nature center! we stopped and helped him across. i love the jaunty leaf on his shell, and there was a leech as well, which upped the "cool" factor for the girls. don't know what he is - a young blanding's turtle? a stinkpot? he did not emit any smell...any thoughts?

Chrystal - girl, you don't know from green until you've seen the color the tincture is already turning!!!! i'll pour it off in a day or two and take another picture without the plant in there. ga-REEN!

alissa said...

sorry, darlin'! get better!

Annie said...

Oh my gosh. How interesting! I've never heard of Jewelweed before.