Nature's Remedy, Jewelweed
Ever find yourself trekking through the woods and brushing up against some poison ivy or poison oak? Don’t panic! Find some jewelweed and rub the juices of the leaves and stems to the affected areas and let mah’ nature work her magic!
First, identify this plant by its orange and yellow bell or trumpet shaped flowers. It grows about 3-4 ft off the ground, and with many other jewelweed friends, so keep an eye out for a lot of orange and yellow little flowers. Jewelweed likes to grow in damp soils and low lands where is it easy to get water and nutrients. One of the best qualities of jewelweed it that it often grows right next to poison ivy!
Once you realize you’ve brushed up against some poison ivy, keep an eye out for little yellow and orange trumpet shaped flowers. Quickly, run over to the jewelweed and break off a few stalks (including the flowers) and break up the stems, leaves, flowers, and roots to release the chemicals found throughout the different parts of the plant. Then take the juices that come out of breaking up the plant and apply them to the affected area. Since jewelweed is a natural anti-inflammatory (helps prevent/reduce rashes, skin irritation, blisters) it will help take that nasty poison ivy encounter and make it seem like a walk in the park.
Although this method of curing poison ivy is less known in current times, it is EXTREMELY effective, the National Park Service recognizes Jewelweed as a natural remedy. The plant is an excellent example of Traditional Ecological Knowledge that can be very applicable, especially here in VT. Jewelweed had also been known to heal irritation of the skin from bee stings, acne, mosquito bites, and athlete's foot!
Fun Fact ** Also called touch-me-nots, if you find their seed pods and gently pinch them, the seeds explode!!
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