Did you know that 85% of the world's population is allergic to poison ivy? Poison Ivy is a poisonous Asian and North American flowering plant that is well known for causing an itching, irritating and sometimes painful rash in people who touch a clean liquid compound in the plant's sap. Immediate washing with soap and cold water may help prevent a reaction. Hot water should not be used, it causes the skins' pores to open admitting the oils that cause the reaction. The rash can last for a few days up to a few weeks. Most over the counter solutions sooth the rash, which will make you feel better, but ultimately will not lesson the duration of symptoms.
The Jewelweed plant has been used for centuries in North America by Native
Americans and herbalists, as a natural preventative and treatment for poison ivy and poison oak. Jewelweed works by counter-reacting with the chemicals in the plants that cause the irritation. Jewelweed blooms June through October in West Virginia. It is found most often in moist woods, usually near the poison ivy plant.
At Brookstone Soaps, we harvest the Jewelweed between July and September after the plant has bloomed. It is abundant near our home in Huntington, so we are able to pick the freshest plants. We hand crush the stems and flowers until we can extract all the healing juices. Lastly,we use these juices to make poison ivy soap and poison ivy salve. We recommend you wash with our soap immediately after exposure with cold water.
The poison ivy salve helps to calm and heal the skin, and should be used following exposure.