Jewelweed is a great topical remedy for when you come in contact with poison ivy, poison oak, or stinging nettle! It has a beautiful translucent, succulent green stem, which is more apparent when held up to the light. The name jewelweed comes from the way rain forms silvery beads, reminiscent of jewels, on the plant’s leaves. Jewelweed grows along creek beds in moist woods, and other locations where there is plenty of moisture.
Orange jewelweed, also known as touch-me-not, has been used by Native Americans in the form of a poultice, ointment/salve, or a wash for generations. The plant, which yields orange color, can be crushed and used to treat burns, cuts, bruises, skin rashes, eczema, poison ivy, poison oak, nettle stings, sprains, or sore limbs. Some tribes such as the Cherokee, Iroquois, Mohegans, and Ojibwas used jewelweed internally. An infusion of the plant would be used to ease childbirth, as a diuretic, or to treat fever. Yellow Jewelweed, seen here, known as pale touch-me-not, will not yield orange color and may not be effective.
Nowadays, the internal use of jewelweed is questionable because it may have a high calcium oxalate level which can lead to kidney stones but it is still used externally. If you come in contact with poison ivy, poison oak, or stinging nettle during a camping, hiking, or forest bathing trip; jewelweed may be close by. They all grow in the same environment. You can reach for the jewelweed plant, slice the stem, then rub its juicy inside on exposed parts. This will promptly ease irritation and usually prevents breakout for most people.
Orange jewelweed can be juiced and then cut with alcohol to preserve it. An infusion, an herbal remedy prepared by submerging plant material in water, can also be made from its boiled leaves and frozen for later use. Brew chopped jewelweed in boiling water until you get a dark orange liquid. Strain the liquid and pour it into ice cube trays. When frozen you can rub the cubes on skin rashes. The cubes can be kept in the freezer for up to a year or you can preserve the infusion by canning it in a pressure cooker.
Many individuals do not know about the medicinal plant called jewelweed which is a natural remedy for hives, an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps on the skin that appear suddenly as a result of the body’s reaction to certain allergens. It is common for individuals to use over-the-counter medications such a Cortizone 10 or calamine lotion due to this lack of knowledge. Tell your family and your friends about jewelweed. One of nature’s best kept secrets!
The Dancing Herbalist is a topical herbal products company which offers a jewelweed liniment for when you come in contact with poison ivy, poison oak, and stinging nettle. Do you want to learn more about herbal medicines and wellness? Be sure to check out to our blog.
Ms. Kimberly Johnson is working towards a Master’s Degree in Therapeutic Herbalism with a focus in Product Design at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Her background is in nursing where she has obtained an Associate Degree and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Currently, Kimberly is a Professional Intern with The Dancing Herbalist.