jewelweed salve

DIY Jewelweed Salve for Poison Ivy Relief

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As someone who seems to get poison ivy just by looking at it, I know firsthand how frustrating and uncomfortable it can be. Despite my best efforts to steer clear of this pesky plant, it somehow always finds me, especially since I spend so much time outdoors tending to my property or exploring the woods. Every year, I inevitably end up with a poison ivy rash. Thankfully, I’ve discovered a natural remedy that works wonders for me: jewelweed salve.

I make a few tins of this salve every year to keep in my home apothecary specifically for this purpose. Nature is truly amazing because you can often find jewelweed growing right alongside poison ivy, almost as if nature is providing exactly what we need, right where we need it. In this blog, I’ll guide you through the process of making your own jewelweed salve to help soothe those irritating poison ivy rashes. 

Let’s dive into the ingredients, equipment, and step-by-step instructions for crafting this natural remedy.

jewelweed plant - for jewelweed salve



Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), also known as touch-me-not, is a plant commonly found in moist, shaded areas across North America. It is recognized for its succulent stems, orange or yellow flowers, and its ability to “pop” its seed pods when touched. The plant is celebrated for its anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties, making it a popular natural remedy for skin irritations like poison ivy.


Jewelweed contains compounds such as lawsone, which have antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects. These properties may help to reduce the itching and swelling associated with poison ivy contact. Making a jewelweed salve allows you to preserve these beneficial compounds and use them as needed. 

jewelweed salve - ingredients and equipment

Supplies Needed to Make Jewelweed Salve


To make jewelweed salve, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Fresh jewelweed plants (stems, leaves, and flowers)
  • Olive oil or another carrier oil (e.g., coconut oil)
  • Beeswax
  • Optional: Vitamin E oil (as a preservative)
  • Optional: Essential oils (such as lavender or tea tree oil for additional soothing properties)


Gather the following equipment before you begin:

Step-BY-step Instructions

jewelweed salve


The first step is to harvest fresh jewelweed. Look for plants in shaded, moist areas, and ensure they are free from pesticides and pollutants. You will need about a cup of chopped jewelweed.

  • Wash and Chop The Jewelweed: Rinse the plants thoroughly to remove any dirt or insects. Chop the stems, leaves, and flowers into small pieces to increase the surface area for extracting beneficial compounds.
jewelweed salve - oil infusion
Jewelweed in olive oil
Oil infusion using Crockpot
jewelweed salve - straining the oiil
Straining the oil


Infusing oil with jewelweed is essential to extract its healing properties. Here’s how to do it:

  • Combine Oil and Jewelweed: Fill a Mason jar about 2/3 full of chopped jewelweed. Cover with olive oil (or your chosen carrier oil) until it’s fully submerged.
  • Heat the Mixture: Place a clean washcloth or dishcloth at the bottom of your crockpot. Set the Mason jar on top of the cloth liner and carefully pour water into the pot. The water should be up to the neck of the jar. Set your crockpot to low and slow cook for 8-24 hours, ensuring the mixture does not boil. 
  • Strain the Oil: After the oil has been infused, strain out the plant material using an old shirt, cheesecloth, or coffee filter. Press the plant material to extract as much oil as possible. 
  • Cool and Store: If not using right away, allow the infused oil to cool, then transfer it to a clean container. Store the oil in a cool, dark place for future use.
jewelweed salve - measuring the beeswax
Measure theingredients
jewelweed salve - beeswax
Add beesway to infused oil
jewelweed salve - beeswax melting
Melt the beeswax
jewelweed salve
Pour into containers


Now that you have your jewelweed-infused oil, it’s time to make the salve.

  1. Measure the Ingredients: For every cup of infused oil, you will need approximately 1 ounce of beeswax. Adjust the quantities based on how much salve you want to make.
  2. Combine Beeswax and Infused Oil: In a small pot, combine the beeswax with the infused oil.
  3. Melt and Mix: Place the small pot inside a larger pot with a few inches of water to create a double boiler. Stir continuously until the beeswax is completely melted and well combined with the oil.
  4. Add Optional Ingredients: If using Vitamin E oil or essential oils, add them now. Use about 1 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil and a few drops of essential oils per cup of infused oil.
  5. Pour into Containers: Pour the warm mixture into clean glass jars or tins. Allow the salve to cool and solidify completely before sealing the containers.


Store your jewelweed salve in a cool, dark place to maintain its potency. It should last for several months. To use, simply apply a small amount to the affected area as needed to relieve itching and inflammation.

jewelweed salve
Finished Jewelweed Salve - a Lovely Green Color



  • Patch Test: Before using the jewelweed salve extensively, perform a patch test on a small area of your skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
  • Clean Hands: Always wash your hands before applying the salve to avoid introducing bacteria to the irritated skin.


Feel free to customize your jewelweed salve with additional ingredients that suit your needs. Here are some suggestions:

  • Calendula: Add calendula-infused oil for its soothing and nurturing properties. Calendula is often used to comfort irritated skin and support skin health.

  • Yarrow: Incorporate yarrow for its refreshing and cleansing qualities. Yarrow is traditionally used to support skin wellness and maintain cleanliness.

  • Plantain: Include plantain for its calming and comforting benefits. Plantain is commonly used to address minor skin issues like insect bites and stings.

  • Chamomile: Add chamomile-infused oil for extra soothing effects. Chamomile is gentle on the skin and is often used to help reduce the appearance of redness and irritation.

To customize your salve, simply infuse your chosen herbs in oil, following the same process used for the jewelweed. You can then combine these infused oils with your jewelweed oil during the salve-making process. Adjust the proportions based on your preferences and the specific needs of your skin.


When harvesting jewelweed, do so sustainably. Only take what you need and leave enough for the plant to continue growing and for wildlife that may depend on it.

Free Jewelweed Salve Jar Labels

jewelweed salve labels


Making your own jewelweed salve is a rewarding process that can provide a natural and soothing remedy for poison ivy rashes. By following these steps, you can create a salve that harnesses the beneficial properties of jewelweed to help alleviate itching and discomfort. Keep this salve on hand during outdoor adventures, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a homemade solution.

Ready to explore more? Check out our other salve recipes for a variety of natural, homemade herbal preparations to suit your needs.

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The Outdoor Apothecary website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is the reader’s responsibility to ensure proper plant identification and usage.

Please be aware that some plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, or nutritionists. It is essential to consult with qualified professionals for verification of nutritional information, health benefits, and any potential risks associated with edible and medicinal plants mentioned on this website.

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