The leaves of Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) can be used to treat poison ivy rashes, eczema and dermatitis. You can use the deep green infused oil to make a powerful salve you will be reaching for year round.
Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) is one of my favorite plants for a number of reasons. Its leaves are water repellant and when you immerse them in water they turn an iridescent silver, hence the name jewelweed! This trick always delights children and adults alike. To me, it also signals the powerful properties of this plant. It is commonly known as an antidote for poison ivy rashes and these plants often grow side by side. In mid-summer, tall forests of jewelweed’s translucent light green stalks soar high beside stream beds and in damp areas. You can break off a stalk of this plant, chew it and apply directly to poison ivy, bug bites, bee stings, contact dermatitis or eczema, for near instant relief. I recently got a surprise sting from some nettles all over my hands and applying this jewelweed salve did the trick. The stalks filled with aloe-like sap and the green leaves both have antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to make infused oil. I like to use this delightful oil that looks and smells very green to make a soothing salve. I prefer to harvest the stalks before they erupt in beautiful orange and yellow trumpet like flowers in late summer, but I have also made potent oils with them well into the fall.
1 cup jewelweed infused oil
¼ cup beeswax pellets
Follow the fresh plant oil infusion instructions, using the chopped up jewelweed stems and leaves. Strain oil. Heat up a few inches of water in medium pot, when boiling turn to simmer. Put all ingredients in a heatproof spouted glass-measuring cup. Place measuring cup inside pot. Stir frequently with spoon until ingredients are fully melted. Remove cup from pot with mitts on. Let it cool for a few minutes. Pour into metal tins or glass jar for storage.
Apply liberally to affected skin. Repeat as often as necessary. This also works beautifully for dry skin and as a face balm. Will keep fresh for up to a year if moisture is kept out of the container.