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What is Jewelweed?

What is Jewelweed?

Jewelweed is an herbaceous plant that is often called nature's antidote to poison ivy. It is a succulent much like aloe with moisture rich stems that contain a gel-like substance very useful in the alleviation of skin irritations and specifically poison ivy/oak. Native Americans have used this plant to not only alleviate poison ivy, oak and sumac, stinging nettle, but also as a treatment for insect bites and stings, eczema, inflammation, and minor burns.

In Chinese herbal medicine, jewelweed has long been used topically to treat joint pain and swelling. It can also be used fresh as a poultice or the dried plant infused into an oil and then made into a salve. In a soap, one of the prominent oils is infused with the dried plant, then made into soap, or the dried powdered leaves can be added when making soap. Using the soap helps alleviate the allergic response in advance, or acts as another layer of neutralizing allergic responses when contact is made.

The plant favors shady, wet, wooded areas. It has been given the nickname of “touch-me-not plant” due to its seed pods exploding on touch and shooting the seeds.  Jewelweed got its name due to the way it repels water and has a jewel-like look when water beads up on the leaves...it shines like jewels. The plant itself grows to about 3-5 feet high and is self seeding. It is an aggressive grower earning the title of weed, but a very useful one!

We carry Jewelweed (Salve) in a portable tin for $5.95.

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