So, it’s been three weeks since I started working in the garden. For the record, weeding and planting are harder than they may look. I hurt. However, I have come to find that weeding is actually a very therapeutic task. I know, I know. Sounds crazy, right? But, in fact, if you are able to sit yourself down in front of a large number of weeds (it’s not quite as enjoyable if you are standing and not sitting), it can be very relaxing to pull them out. Plus, it’s incredibly satisfying when you get all of the roots.
However, what is not so satisfying is unknowingly digging into a pile of weeds and pulling up a massive vine of poison ivy. I know what you’re thinking: “That’s stupid. Poison ivy is easy to distinguish from other plants.” Well, you are right, in fact, it is. I do, believe it or not, know exactly what it looks like. But sometimes it hides!
Well, point of the story is, I have a large amount of poison ivy on my arm. Not so pleasing. The day after I noticed it, I showed it to one of my co-workers (who thinks that poison ivy is the devil in disguise). Her response was, “I think there’s some jewelweed over in those woods, you should put some on it.”
Jewelweed??? I had no idea what that was. At all. In my life, calamine lotion had always been the solution to poison ivy. I mean, mother had never been pleased with it (lots of dyes covering my skin? Not her idea (nor mine) of a good product), but what else was there to use? No one wants poison ivy spreading all over their body. And I’m bad with itchiness. I don’t like it.
Well, apparently, both my mom and I have been totally clueless as to the simplest, most natural way to take care of poison ivy. Go figure. The juice from jewelweed has been used as a cure for poison ivy and poison oak, as well as rashes, cuts, and bruises, as far back as the Native Americans. It is found all over the northeast, and in southern California. To find out how to identify it, or to order some, check here.
I can attest: I found some in the woods at work, put it on my poison ivy-full arm, and almost immediately it stopped itching. Now it’s practically gone, and none of it spread. Sounds like a good alternative to me.
Note to self: Say goodbye to that gross pink stuff. Hellloooooo, Jewelweed.