So, you've found yourself in an itchy situation? Well, let's see if we can help ease that itch. Rather than waiting 'till you need it, it is better to have this made ahead of time, since it takes a bit of time to concoct.
Picture By Carrie Miller
What is Jewelweed?
Jewelweed (Impatiens Capensis) is also known as "Touch-Me-Not." It's a member of the Impatiens family. Jewelweed tends to grow in the shade alongside its nemesis poison ivy (Ironic, isn't it?). It easily grows in moist damp areas, like along creek beds.
Photo By Carrie Miller
Why use Jewelweed?
Jewelweed is great for combating poison ivy, oak, sumac, and even bug bites! It helps to clear up rashes, speeds the drying time of blisters, and soothes the itchy rash that follows.
How to use jewelweed?
Making a great tincture from jewelweed and witch hazel is a sure-fire way to help relieve the itch and discomfort. Fresh jewelweed is best to use but dried or frozen will work as well. It just may not be as strong. Other great ideas include: Infusing a carrier oil and adding it to homemade soap or salve. But for this article we are going to make a simple tincture to help fight the itch.
What will you need?
- 1 quart jar
- Fresh jewelweed; you want leaves, stems, and flowers
- Witch hazel (enough to fill the quart jar)
How to make it:
- Chop up the jewelweed plant.
- Place the chopped jewelweed into the quart jar (pack it full).
- Cover completely with witch hazel and close the jar.
- Place jar in a crockpot.
- Add water around the jar as high up as you can without covering the neck of the jar.
- Place crockpot on low/warm.
- If your jar is too tall, simply lay a clean kitchen wash towel over the top of the crockpot.
- Leave crockpot on for 24-48 hours.
- Strain the tincture and place in a cool dark place when not using. You can also use an amber colored jar to keep it in. Either spray onto infected area or use cotton balls to dab it on.
The end result is not the best smelling mixture, but who cares when it comes to easing misery? I try to make this ahead of time each year to keep in stock. Here at Miller Micro Farm, the whole family is highly allergic to poison ivy and poison oak. So, when we get it, we get it bad! Taking trips to the doctors and requiring steroids is no fun. We have found that this mixture helps us dramatically. I hope it can help you or your loved ones as well.
Photo By Carrie Miller
I make no guarantees on how well this will work for you. It depends a lot on how fresh and strong the jewelweed is you use. It also has a tendency of getting strong the longer it sits in a cool dark place.