Jewelweed: The Value of Your Jewels
Jewelweed is truly a gem of a weed! It is such a welcoming plant and one of the best topical herbals for poison ivy.
You will find it growing as a beautiful woodland border, and sometimes it grows near poison ivy. Hint! Hint! Nature has a nice way of letting us know just what we need.
Have you discovered the benefits of this plant’s chemical compound, lawsone? It has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties.
For a stellar combination, use infused oils of both Jewelweed and Plantain weed for reactions from poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac, as well as quick relief from wasp and bee stings.
If you have a chance to harvest Jewelweed, it’s easy to enjoy the value of your jewels! Follow these instructions to make an infused oil and salve. If you’d rather skip the harvesting and buy the Jewelweed infused oil, you can get it here at Beneficial Botanicals and then make a salve.
Making an Infused Oil & Herbal Salve with Jewelweed
Jewelweed is one plant that you should infuse fresh instead of dehydrated like most others. That’s because the all important juice of the plant must be preserved.
The goal is to remove excess moisture with heat while infusing the oil in an oven. Water moisture in the final product sets the stage for mold, drastically decreasing shelf life, and you don’t want that.
So, no need to pull out the dehydrator, but you might want to use a fan in the kitchen while you run the oven for 6 hours on the lowest heat.
You will need:
a clean large cutting board and sharp knife
large stainless steel bowl
olive oil and or hemp seed oil
304 stainless steel mesh, strain size #60 (0.35 mm holes)
4 cup glass measuring cup
containers for infused oil and/or salve jars
Note: You do not need to sterilize all your equipment before starting, but you do need to sanitize everything so as not to introduce bacteria unnecessarily. You can do this in a dishwasher.
Harvest the tender stems, leaves and flowers.
Shake out the tiny bugs before taking inside.
Garble and cut up just enough to fit into a salad spinner.
Rinse and spin dry well.
Additional air drying is recommended because you don’t want a lot of moisture leftover.
Chop the plant material down to about 1” size pieces.
Place all of it in a large stainless steel bowl.
Pour olive oil over the plant material, just enough to cover it.
Heat this in the oven set at about 150 degrees for 6 hours.
Cool and Strain :
Use a 304 stainless steel 60 mesh. This is much, much better than cheesecloth. You will thank us for this tip! Cut the mesh to fit nicely into a large funnel, molding the mesh down inside so it won’t slip around. Carefully pour the contents of the stainless steel bowl through it and into a 4 cup size glass measuring cup. You may need to repeat this process more than once depending on how much oil you make. From this point you can fill amber glass bottles with the infused oil or proceed directly to making the salve.
1:4 ratio of beeswax to infused oil
For example, to make 5 ounces, use 1 oz of beeswax and 4 oz of herbal infused oil.
After the beeswax is melted into the oil, you can add 10-20 drops of essential oil.
Heat the beeswax using a double boiler or in a microwave on very low heat.
Add the oil and heat to blend.
Stir in essential oil.
Pour quickly into final jars or tins on a level surface.
That’s it! Enjoy the value of your jewels!