I was so excited to make this Anti-Itch Soap that as soon as my husband walked in the door I declared, “I made Poison Ivy Soap!” He looked at me oddly and said, “I hope you didn’t put poison ivy in soap, Kelly.” That made me laugh. I guess he doesn’t know what I’m going to do next sometimes.
But, no! This soap contains NO poison ivy. Instead, it is made with a wonderful weed called Jewelweed.
Jewelweed, a.k.a. Touch Me Not, Impatiens, Snap Weed, and whatever your grandma calls it, has a number of nicknames because it’s common in most wooded areas of America and Europe. It likes the shade and access to plenty of water. This is because its root system is very shallow. If you try to break off a stem you are likely to pull up the entire plant.
My kids learned quickly that you can eat the seed pods. They are called Snap Weed or Touch Me Nots, because when the pods are ready they will snap open at the slightest touch. These are fine to eat, but it is well known that the rest of the plant is poisonous.
Jewelweed flowers in North Eastern America in mid-July. They almost look like little snap dragons on 3 foot high stalks or small bushes with tear drop leaves. The flowers will either be yellow (Pale Jewelweed) or orange with red spots (Spotted Jewelweed).