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Botanical Poison Ivy Antidote?

Richard Winder rwinder at PFC.Forestry.CA
Thu Jul 9 16:00:08 EST 1992

>In article <robison1.710571215 at husc9> robison1 at husc9.harvard.edu 
(Keith Robison) writes:

(intro deleted)

>Any help on this would be appreciated.  It is long-standing lore
>in the camping world that the juice of jewelweed* (a wild impatiens)
>is an antidote for poison ivy.

This is the first I've heard of effects on poison ivy.  However,
there must be some truth to it.  I've used jewelweed as a cure for
stinging nettle many times and found that it almost instantly relieves the
irritation.  As I recall, it is a common folk remedy in the Eastern U.S., 
where the two plants frequently grow side by side.  I initially discovered 
it by accident, because I thought that washing the nettle trichomes away 
would help, and there was no water handy (jewelweed stems are quite 
succulent and full of water).  I've seen other mentions of this cure in 
a number of herbal remedy books (sorry, can't remember which ones). 
If it also helps poison ivy rash, a general mode of action would seem to
be indicated.  -R.S.W.

  RICHARD WINDER                    Title: Visiting Fellow
  Forestry Canada                   Phone: (604) 363-0600
  Victoria, B.C.                    Internet: RWINDER at A1.PFC.Forestry.CA

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