Making Jewelweed Salve to Help with Poison Ivy and other Skin Problems.

Jewelweed salve is easy to make and may aid irritated skin from poison ivy and bug bites. Learn more about identifying and preserving this helpful plant.

This jewelweed salve tutorial reminds me of when I was a Girl Scout back in the day. We had the most wonderful camp within walking distance of my house. Every year during the summer, they would host a week long day camp. I have such fond memories of that experience. Sadly the camp is no longer owned by the Scouts, however the township did purchase the property for community use, so at least it hasn’t turned into some ugly industrial site.  

How to Make Jewelweed Salve

Jewelweed salve is easy to make and may aid irritated skin from poison ivy and bug bites. Learn more about identifying and preserving this helpful plant.

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Impatiens pallida aka jewelweed.

I guess that it is no surprise that even at the young age of seven, one of the highlights of day camp for me was the visit from Mother Nature. She would tell us all about the native plants that grew in the camp. One of my favorites  was all about Impatiens pallida aka Jewelweed. 

Sap from jewelweed stems.The first thing Mother Nature showed us, was this folk remedy of using the sap from jewelweed to treat poison ivy and other bothersome itchy skin problems such as bug bites.

Jewelweed stem cut to make a whistle.

She also showed us how to make a whistle by cutting slits into the hollow stem. That’s right, another common name for this plant is “whistle weed.” In addition, you may know it as “touch-me-not,” because the seed heads pop open and shoot seed everywhere when they are touched. A clever way to ensure this plant comes back again and again.

Jewelweed in olive oil.

You can make a salve out of this weed. All you need to do is chop it up, and place it in a mason jar. Then fill it with olive oil.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to replace medical advice. Be mindful of any plant allergies that may cause a problem, and consult a qualified health care practitioner before self-treatment with any product. Also, take care with anyone who may have a plant allergy.

Hot infusion of jewelweed and olive oil.

Some people have made a cold infusion with dried jewelweed. However, I have read, and Mother Nature taught me, that the sap is what you want for this remedy, so I made a warm infusion. This is done by gently heating the jar in a bath of simmering water for a few hours.

Straining the jewelweed infusion.

Then simply strain the oil by using a coffee filter, napkin or paper towel.

Materials to make jewelweed salve.

Jewelweed Salve Materials

Olive Oil
Fresh Jewelweed
Beeswax pellets
Essential Oils (optional)
Vitamin E
Tins or lipbalm containers, small mason jars

Use the infused jewelweed oil, combined with beeswax, essential oils (optional) and vitamin E.  

Melting beeswax with infused jewelweed oil.

For this batch of jewelweed salve I used 2 tablespoons of beeswax to 1/2 cup infused oil in a glass jar. Heat the jar in a water bath on the stove until the beeswax is dissolved. Let cool slightly before adding in your essential oils (about 15 drops), and vitamin E to act as a preservative. Stir and pour into the containers.

Orange flowered jewelweed.Jewelweed grows everywhere around here. Sometimes you see it growing near water sources with a pretty spotted orange flower. This one is Impatiens capensis. Some say that the orange flowered jewelweed one is better at treating skin issues than the yellow one shown here.  Both have a shallow root system, making them easy to remove from the garden, and the added bonus of something that you can use it to make your own jewelweed salve, or a maybe just a fun whistle.

Jewelweed salve is easy to make and may aid irritated skin from poison ivy and bug bites. Learn more about identifying and preserving this helpful plant.

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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Comments

  1. This is so cool – I’m not sure if we have that growing around here but man I could use a good salve because the bugs are driving me nuts which means I’m itchy all the time and it would be good for when we go to the property. I’ve learned more about plants with bite too this year. It’s like I’m under attack.. LOL

    I’m saving this and hunting down these ingredients. I’m guessing the essential oils make it smell nice? My Go to oils are lavender, T-Tree, peppermint and lemon.. Which of these would you recommend?

    • Hi Carole,

      According the the USDA forestry map Texas has the plant growing somewhere. Of course it’s everywhere here in PA. The essential oils do make it smell good, but as you know can also benefit the skin. I think all of your go-to oils would work. There are some articles that caution against citrus for photo sensitivity on the skin so maybe not the lemon, the others would work great.

      Have a great week!
      Patti

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