25 July 2008

Mother Nature's Poison Ivy Remedy: Jewelweed

I gave this sad looking little plant to my cousin Nikki after she got a nasty case of poison ivy all over her legs. Which she scratched open. And then got infected.
Don't worry, she's been to the doctor. They gave her antibiotics, and a steroid cream. She should be feeling better any day now. But she'll still be out in the yard, and she'll encounter more this season, so I also gave her a bar of Burt's Bees Poison Ivy soap. I swear by this stuff. I wash with it everytime I come in from doing yard work. It really does seem to be helping, because I've gotten a couple of spots, on my hands, arms, feet, and washing diligently with this soap seems to have kept it at bay, and the spots usually go away in four or five days, instead of spreading rapidly all over in less than 24 hours.

For Nikki, this is the first time it spread all over, just the way I get it if I'm not careful. She said she used to get spots, only where she came into contact with the poison ivy, but it never spread like this before. The same thing happened to me. When I was a kid, no big deal, a spot here or there. Then one summer, I was weeding for our grandmother, must have gotten into it more than I realized, and woke up the next day covered. Head to toe. My eyelids were swollen almost completely shut. It was in my ears, between my toes, in my belly button. I was beyond miserable. I'm so glad Nikki didn't get it that bad.

Anyway, back to the jewelweed plant. Mom has a little patch of jewelweed next to the house, but it comes up wild elsewhere in her yard. You can break off a stem and apply the juices to your poison ivy, much the way you would use an aloe leaf. The juice from the jewelweed is supposed to cut the oils in poison ivy, to prevent it from spreading.
Even though it is technically a weed, it is kind of pretty with its little orange blooms.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

I did not know about the Jewelweed and the burts bees soap. And I am a Burts Bees fan.

Puppy gets poison ivy.