Jewell Weed: Nature’s cure for Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac

With the event of warm weather on the rise and the summer months approaching, there is no doubt that many people have outdoor activities planned. However, whenever people recreate in the outdoors, it is simply inevitable that some poor soul will fail to recognize the dark green, tri-foil, leaf of the Poison Ivy plant or that obscure patch of Poison Oak or that strategically placed patch of Poison Sumac and thus, they will suffer the resultant rash that is caused by contact with the oil that these plants exude to protect themselves from herbivores. However, fortunately for us Nature has provided us with a natural and readily available cure for this common summer time ailment in the form of another plant called Jewell Weed.


As I mentioned above, Jewell Weed is a common and readily available plant but, not everyone has the knowledge and experience to recognize plants in the wild and thus, I have seen this natural remedy for sale in the form of a bar of soap at a local pharmacy as well as on the Web in various forms from various vendors. Therefore, this is an excellent option for those of you who have neither the time nor the inclination to forage for your own medicinal plants and to do the work necessary to prepare them for use. However, for those of you who do like to forage for your own medicinal plants and don’t mind doing the work needed to prepare them, Jewell Weed can be found most readily in states located east of the Rocky Mountains but it does occur incidentally further west as well. Also, it should be noted that this plant prefers to grow in shady spots where there is moist, sandy, well-drained, soil and therefore, you will most commonly find growing it in lowlands, wetlands, fens, and adjacent to streams, ponds, lakes, and bogs. However, the most important aspect to keep in mind is that Jewell Weed is often found growing adjacent to patches of Poison Oak! But, knowing where to look for this medicinal plant is useless without knowing what you are looking for and thus, you should look for a smooth stemmed, annual, flower that grows in large patches. Also, it grows to a height of 3 to 5 feet and has oval, green, leaves with serrated edges with the lower ones placed opposite of each other on the stem and the upper ones placed alternate of each other on the stem. Also, this plant produces very distinctive, funnel shaped, three-petal, flowers suspended from a single stem that appear to have orange petals and yellow funnels with red spots on them.

Of course, once you have found and harvested these plants, they must be properly prepared prior to use. Therefore, when you are in the wild and need an immediate cure, one method of applying this remedy is to harvest the plant prior to flowering and then isolate the stem and crush it and then apply the expressed juice to the affected area. Also, a police can made from the crushed leaves of the plant and applied to the rash as well. In addition, some people like to make a tisane from the leaves of the plant and then pour the tisane into ice trays before freezing it; thus creating Jewell Weed tisane ice cubes which they then rub on the rash to sooth it. Furthermore, tisanes can be evaporated using an essential oil distiller into either a tincture or an extract and the tincture itself can be applied topically to the skin while the extract can be added to olive oil or petroleum jelly to make a salve.

Last, it should be noted that Jewel Weed can be cultivated in flower beds and gardens throughout the lower 48 states provided that it is given the correct soil and light conditions. However, it does not do well in arid or semi-arid locations unless special growing conditions are provided. Also, Jewel Weed prefers locations which provide either full or partial sunlight and, it grows best in rich, moist, or wet soils. Therefore, it should be watered at least once a week and more often during periods of draught.

So, when you are out and about this summer, be sure to keep an eye out for those insidious spoilers of wilderness outings; the infamous Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac plants. However, if you do come into contact with any of these poisonous plants, then the best course of action is to immediately wash the affected area with soap and water (or even just water if soap is unavailable) to remove as much of the oil as possible and then apply one of the above mentioned Jewell Weed remedies to prevent the formation of the rash. But, in the event that you come into contact with one of these plants unknowingly, then again apply one of the above mentioned Jewell Weed remedies to the resulting rash and I believe that you will be absolutely amazed at just how quickly the rash disappears!




Written by,


Bill Bernhardt

Outdoor Professional



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