Appalachia Celebrating Appalachia Videos Medicinal Remedies

Using Jewelweed for Poison Oak

In one of my recent videos I discuss jewelweed and its medicinal properties.

According to one of my favorite old book about wildflowers, “Wildflowers Worth Knowing” by Neltje Blanchan, Jewelweed is also called Spotted Touch Me Not, Silver Cap, Wild Balsam, Lady’s Eardrops, Snap Weed, and Wild Lady’s Slipper.

Blanchan also has this to say about the plants:

Distribution–Nova Scotia to Oregon, south to Missouri and Florida.

These exquisite, bright flowers, hanging at a horizontal, like jewels from a lady’s ear, may be responsible for the plant’s folk-name; but whoever is abroad early on a dewy morning, or after a shower, and finds notched edges of the drooping leaves hung with scintillating gems, dancing, sparkling in the sunshine, sees still another reason for naming this the Jewel-weed. In a brook, pond, spring, or wayside trough, which can never be far from its haunts, dip a spray of the plant to transform the leaves into glistening silver. They shed water much as the nasturtiums do.”

Have you ever used jewelweed for poison oak or other itchy problems?

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  • Reply
    October 14, 2020 at 11:27 am

    I was told to take stalks and seep them on stove in a little water until it gelled. Then scoop out the stalks and let mixture cool, store it in jar on refrigerator. I haven’t tried it.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 14, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Since sultana (impatiens) are closely related to jewelweed (touch-me-nots) I wonder if they have any of its medicinal properties? Mommy used to grow sultanas in the house. I remember I couldn’t wait til the seeds matured so I could make them pop. When I got bigger I would find them along the creeks and branches and pop them too. There is something therapeutic about touching touch-me-nots.

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    October 14, 2020 at 9:32 am

    One more lovely thing about jewel weed is that hummingbirds love it. I remember being on a boardwalk in Marietta, Georgia over a swampy area next to the Chattahoochee River. The ground was full of jewel week and the migrating hummingbirds were everywhere. What a lovely sight!

  • Reply
    October 14, 2020 at 9:03 am

    I’ve read of & used this on poison ivy. I’d melt some coconut oil, put it in a blender w/ the jewel weed & emulsify. It turned a gross brown color, I’d keep the jar in the fridge & it felt sooo good. We must of had about 30 hummingbirds stop in on their way south in the last weeks of Sept, they love that patch.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    October 14, 2020 at 8:58 am

    I’m loving the information about Wild Ladies Slippers. I always make it a point to check these tiny flowers as I ride along the mountain road. To me, they are bright and beautiful. I never knew they helped with chiggers, the poison, and all things itchy! Why this is great news! I’ve had the poison so much, it’s plumb silly! Ive been shot up, pilled, creamed and putaneer drove mad over the stuff! Once I took a steroid shot (full dose) and became a wild strong woman. Now I know to go for half dose. Lol. Don’t put too much stock in doctors for they are not GOD and many have arrogance that swells their head like a big rotting pumpkin. Watch these jokers and don’t be took in by their big talk and promises. Take it from an old Vanderbilt nurse that doctors are nobody special. They wipe their you know what’s like everybody else! Just watch pharmaceutical commercials and you’ll get the idea of what these money hungry devils are all about!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 14, 2020 at 8:14 am

    I have never used jewelweed for itches, at least that I recall. Poison ivy doesn’t bother me, at least hasn’t in the past. But I do try to pay attention and avoid making it mad. I expect my resistance may fade over tine. As for other itches, I mostly just scratch.

    I do like knowing about natural remedies. They can come in really handy when one is out and about. i have posted before about my Grandma having pennyroyal growing in one of her fencerows and she would have us boys rub handfuls of it on our legs if we got into chiggers or seed ticks. It worked, I think at a guess because the minty aroma gave them problems with breathing.

  • Reply
    Cheryl W.
    October 14, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Every year an abundance of jewel weed grows along side our stream. I cut down to about 4 inches of the root, pack as much as I can into a few quart-size jars and pour in as much witch hazel or vodka as the jar will hold. Let it steep at least a month, the longer the better. Eventually I strain it and keep a few jars stored in the basement. It will get used up in a hurry if someone encounters ground hornets, jellow jackets, or poison ivy or oak. It takes the hurt out of the stings and by the end of the day all that is left of the stings is a small welt that is usually gone in a few days.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    October 14, 2020 at 7:50 am

    I’ve not used touch-me-nots for poison oak, but have for stinging nettles – which at least in the Smokies are frequently neighbors of jewel weed, both preferring places where they can keep their feet wet. It doesn’t completely stop the stinging, and doesn’t stop me from saying bad words when I get stung by the nettle, but it definitely reduces the irritation.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    October 14, 2020 at 7:28 am

    There must be a tame variety of touch me not. I remember as a small boy there was a large jewel weed growing at the bottom of a steep bank at the edge of my Papaw’s yard. The plant was bigger than any I’ve seen in the wild, with plump seed pods that exploded big time when touched. The plant is long gone and there is no one to ask about its origin.
    I’ve never tried jewel weed on poison ivy but it really works good on chigger bites.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 14, 2020 at 7:05 am

    Tip, I didn’t know the juice from jewel weed would cure poison oak. I’ve had it a few times in my life but never really bad like your bout with it.
    As I take my morning walks I see the plants, lots of the plants, along the side of the road. They are beautiful and bright in the early morning.

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