This morning was a real stunner! Sun-dappled in every sense of the word! We had a light rain and then the morning sun appeared making it easy for me to capture this pretty photo just using my iPhone.
My husband was fixing some fence on our 83 acre property when he came up to tell me had located jewelweed in a low area along the fence line! How many husbands even know what jewelweed is or looks like? My sweetie does and he knows its like gold to me! Imagine my delight! Normally I wild harvest the jewelweed for our soaps and salves from my neighbor's property. I had not noticed any growing on our property but apparently I did not look deep enough into the low lying areas! I immediately tossed off my bathrobe and slipped into old jeans and muck boots and headed out to the swamp!
We wild harvest the spotted jewelweed plant once it enters full bloom and its juices are really flowing. Mother Nature is clever and has created her own antidote for poison ivy! We take great care to cut the jewelweed rather than pull it by the roots. We definitely want regrowth every year! Once harvested the jewelweed is hand cut into small pieces and brought to a simmer in distilled water. A gorgeous tea is created and the jewelweed is then strained from the water. More jewelweed is again hand cut into small pieces and placed in organic coconut and jojoba oil for a long slow simmer. The jewelweed juices infuse with organic coconut and jojoba oil for skin loving goodness! Once finished the jewelweed plant is again strained out. What we are left with is the makings of one incredible soap.
I find that this soap is very effective in removing the poison ivy (urushiol) oil that causes the painful skin irritation and rash. Wash immediately (you have approximately 30-60 minutes to get the oil off) after entering your home from being outside. Urushiol is quickly absorbed into the skin! Leave shoes or boots outside as they may also be contaminated with the plant oil. Launder clothing immediately and take care not to touch/handle it too much because it also could contain the plant oil. You can even transfer the oil to other parts of your body with your fingers or by touching your pets fur if they had been in contact with the plant. Contrary to popular belief, if you do develop poison ivy blisters the blister fluid does not spread the rash! You have to come into contact directly with the plants oil! Another fascinating fact is that the urushiol oil can remain potent for years! If you put away those shoes you were wearing when you contracted poison ivy without cleaning them and pull them out a year later you could again re-contaminate yourself!
The spotted jewelweed plant is also a favorite nectaring plant for ruby-throated hummingbirds! I had several hummingbirds join me on my gathering adventure this morning!
These soaps and salves sell out fast this time of year and rarely does it even make it onto the website! I was happy my husband located this lovely patch on our property this morning and by tonite another fresh batch of each will be made!
Till next week.....
Disclaimer: I hope you have found my blog useful and helpful. I am a professional registered nurse of 23 years and my blog posts are intended for informational and educational purposes only. They should not be seen as health, nutritional or medical advice. I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I recommend checking with your doctor before beginning any new treatment as I am unaware of your entire medical history.
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