Harvesting Jewelweed

We try to keep everything we do as natural as possible here on the farm.  That includes the food we (and all of our animals) eat as well as all of the items we make.  One of our most popular specialty items is our jewelweed soap and jewelweed salve.  These are used to both help prevent and help treat poison ivy.  And if you’ve ever suffered from a poison ivy rash, you know that anything that offers relief quickly becomes a favorite!

Jewelweed is a plant that grows naturally in (usually) damp soil.  When we lived at our old farm, we didn’t have any jewelweed on the property, so we harvested the jewelweed from a friend’s property.  But their home and property were destroyed in the tornado that hit our area in 2012.  The family was all safe and unharmed, which is the important thing, but I did need to look for a new source for my jewelweed.

We were super surprised and excited to find that our new Scottsburg farm has an abundant supply of jewelweed.  So now it is super easy to harvest!

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We did have to fence the goats out of it though so that it can grow undisturbed.

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Emery and Greyden are responsible for harvesting the jewelweed.

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They’ve learned to identify it by the orange flowers which usually appear in July or August.

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The family doesn’t usually get many poison ivy rashes because we’re pretty good about washing with the jewelweed soap and identifying poison ivy so we can avoid it.  (The children learned a healthy fear of poison ivy from Jim who is highly allergic.)

Do you have any experience with jewelweed?

PJ

 

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  • Karen Oswald

    We had jewelweed at our previous home. It worked great on any kind of itch we had, whether it was from poison ivy or bug bites. Our sons had fun at the end of the season (OK, we did, too!) with the seed pods on the plants. If you touch a full pod lightly, the pod explodes and sends the seeds flying. I was always good for a laugh. (I know, we need to get a life!)

  • Nora Shepherd

    I used the leaves crushed to rub on the poison ivy, then split the woody stems to scrape the gel inside to put on the ivy sores, this always worked for me. healed it right up. (Melissa’s Mom)