Jewel Weed Salve
This is the first of September and the Jewel Weed is in full bloom. I just love this plant. I love the beautiful flowers, I love the healing value of this plant and I love playing with the seed pods. When you touch fully ripe ones they burst open and send the seeds flying. Great fun.
Summer often brings poison ivy rashes while haying and it will soon be fall here and that means it’s time to cut back the brush, rake up leaves and another round of poison ivy. Sad but true, no matter how hard we try someone always catches it.
Fresh Jewel Weed leaves and stems picked fresh from the plant are the best choice when using this to cure poison ivy. But when it’s not in season what do you do? Well around here I make a salve, and freeze the stems and leaves in ice cube trays.
Freezing fresh leaves and stems is easy. Simply pick the leaves, flowers and stems, cut them into small pieces and place into a container with a pouring spout on it, a glass measuring cup works great for this. Place the cut plant in the measuring cup and add enough distilled water (tap water will work too.) to just cover the plant material. Let this sit overnight on the counter, the next day pour it, plant material and all into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen place the cubes into a storage container in the freezer until you need it. When you do need it, simply rub the frozen cube on the rash and it should help a great deal.
Salve has been popular around here too. My sister has used I bet 6 containers of it herself this summer. She always catches it from the hay, or from the dogs who run through the stuff then love up to her…. Not much she can do about it, around here house she has removed all the plants but the fields and woods around her house are full of it. She doesn’t want to keep the dogs tied so it’s a given she will catch it before the season is out.
She also uses this salve before going out into the yard to work as a barrier on her skin, works well for her and she swears by it. When she is done into the shower to use the Jewel Weed soap.
So here are some general guideline on how to make your own.
Pick fresh flowering Jewel Weed early in the morning after it has had time to dry. Hang the plant roots and all in a cool dry dark spot until it is completely dry and the leaves crumble easily. Don’t worry about pulling up the plant, it is an annual and will not come back next year from the same plant if you didn’t pull it up. Don’t pick all you find leave some to spread seeds so you will have more next year.
When dry crumble the entire plant minus the dirt from the roots into a clean jar. Cover with olive oil, put on the cover and let sit in the sun for a few weeks.
When ready, strain the oil and put the plant material into the compost pile. Warm the infused oil until hot, melt beeswax and blend the two together. Then pour into clean containers and label. I like to make this salve on the thin side (less beeswax) so it spreads on the rash easily without lots of rubbing!
This will help dry the rash and soothe the itching from it. Applied several times a day should do the trick.
If you aren’t up to making your own or don’t have access to this wonderful plant I offer the salve at our Country Store in 1 ounce tins. Soon I will also be listing some Jewel Weed soap.
I also have there tins of Yarrow salve. This salve is good for everyday itchy bites and minor cuts like paper cuts as it will take the pain away quickly.
Don’t use Yarrow Salve on deep or dirty wounds as Yarrow will heal it to quickly and may trap in the dirt and any bacteria. We have also been using this salve on bruises with good success. Awhile back Sage, our horse stepped on my foot, leaving a big swollen bruise and small cuts. I applied the Yarrow salve several times a day and before going to bed. It took the swelling down quickly and helped with the bruising. Good stuff to have in you first-aid kit.