Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) could become your best friend in the woods, in the garden, and wherever you go camping. This little flowering weed is responsible for alleviating untold amounts of suffering. It does something that only powerful steroids can do. It completely neutralizes the histamines produced by poison oak and poison ivy. While there are various commercial creams and treatments for suppressing the symptoms of poison plant exposure, they are fairly ineffective, and they must be routinely reapplied until the immune system completely finishes dealing with the "poison". Conversely, jewelweed completely neutralizes the histamines, meaning that jewelweed usually needs to be applied only once, and there are no effects from the poison plants whenever it is used soon enough.
Jewelweed soap can be purchased on-line and from health retailers for cleaning oneself after poison plant exposure. Timing is critical. Jewelweed must be applied in the first couple of hours after exposure to prevent the histamine oils from sinking through the outer layers of skin. The sooner it is applied, the more effective it is. Waiting until the next morning to wash will make the jewelweed ineffective. We advise our readers not to underestimate this natural remedy. Jewelweed is technically more of a preventative than a remedy, but in any case, it is extremely effective.