Did You Know: Poison Ivy and Jewelweed

Mother Nature is brilliant. Most of the┬átime, whenever she creates a “problem” for us, she also offers up the solution. Today I want to take a quick look at one way that Mother Nature has done just that: poison ivy and jewelweed. Jewelweed is a native plant that usually occurs in areas that are overrun with poison ivy. Let’s take a look at a picture of both.

poison ivy and jewelweed
The dreaded poison ivy


poison ivy and jewelweed
The delightful jewelweed


You may be wondering how the jewelweed helps to counteract the effects of the poison ivy. It’s actually quite simple. If you’ve been exposed to the poison ivy oil (urushiol), take some of the jewelweed and crush it. Rub it over the affected areas and use it to clean your skin. It’s quite a juicy plant so it will serve you well. I learned this from Peggy Singlemann at Maymont when I worked there. Like so many other things that I learned while working there, this has served me well.

Have you ever used jewelweed to counteract the misery that poison ivy can bring? Do you know of any other “homemade” remedies? If so, please leave a comment below or e-mail me so that other Mid-Atlantic Gardening readers can learn from your experience. If you enjoy being part of the Mid-Atlantic Gardening community, join our e-mail list (upper right hand corner of this page), become a fan on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. Happy gardening!