Jewelweed Benefits and Uses: Poison Ivy, Rashes, Fungal Conditions

| Modified on Dec 11, 2023

Jewelweed is a common herb frequently used to treat poison ivy and skin rashes. The leaves contain a compound called lawsone, which has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties. [1]

Historically, First Nations peoples used jewelweed for poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac rashes.

What is Jewelweed?

Jewelweed grows 3 to 5 feet tall and flowers from late spring to early fall. The flowers are orange.

Where to Find Jewelweed

The herb typically grows in moist, shady soils along streams. It is found throughout the United States, from the east coast to the west coast and also throughout Georgia and Florida.

How to Make Jewelweed Ice Cubes

One of the most popular ways to use this herb is to freeze it for use on any rashes and fungal conditions of the skin.


1. Gather the above-ground parts of 3 Jewelweed plants. 

2. Rinse the plant thoroughly.

3. Finely chop the jewelweed on a sanitized surface. 

4. Boil 3 cups of cool water.

5. Add the chopped plant, cover, and allow to simmer on low heat for 30 to 60 minutes.

6. Allow the tea to cool. The longer you allow it to cool, the stronger it will become. The color will become orangey-brown the longer it steeps.

7. Strain.

8. Pour the tea into ice cube trays and put it in the freezer.

5. Once frozen, you can store the ice cubes in a sealed Ziploc bag in the freezer for up to one year.

How to Use 

Roll a jewelweed ice cube onto any affected area of your skin three times a day.

You can also make a compress by thawing an ice cube and pouring the liquid onto a washcloth and fasten it with safety pins.

Jewelweed for Poison Ivy

Crushed leaves of jewelweed have long been a remedy for poison ivy rashes. The mucilage found in Jewelweed’s stem and leaves is a very effective soothing antidote for poison ivy rashes.

People also make ice cubes made from Jewelweed tea top rub on their poison ivy rashes.

Jewelweed Juice for Athlete's Foot

Juice from the stems of jewelweed has been proven to be fungicidal and also used for athlete's foot. 

Continue reading below for feedback from our readers about Jewelweed and let us know what you use it for!

Jewelweed Recipes

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 07/31/2021

I made some jewelweed soap this week. It was so easy to do I thought I would share it in case anyone else wanted to try it!

I have made the types of soap that you hot process and have to be super careful because of the lye. And its not my favorite thing to do. I enjoy the results, but not the process.

But a simple jewelweed soap can be made with two ingredients - melt and pour glycerin soap base and fresh jewelweed. The soap base is easy to find in craft stores or on amazon. I bought 5 pounds of clear melt and pour.

The tricky part is finding jewelweed. It grows profusely near me. It loves moist creek banks and grows where it is mostly shady.

I melted 2.5 pounds of soap base in my crock pot on high. Then I collected about 10 jewelweed plants (they come right up out of the soil - they like loose soil.) I used scissors to cut off the leaves and then cut the leaves up. I stirred these into my melted soap. I left the crock pot with the leaves and soap overnight on low.

Then I used a ladle to ladle soap into silicone molds. I could have poured it all into a wax paper lined casserole dish. The soap can easily be cut into bars after it cools. I did leave the plant material in the soap. I was afraid I would lose too much soap if I strained it out. In hindsight, I wish I had strained it. I could have ladled it through a strainer into the molds.

When the soap was cool I popped the bars out and wrapped them in plastic wrap. I now keep a bar tubside and my kids know when to use it. After any possible exposure to poison ivy. Glycerin soap is hydrating and gentle. And jewelweed is good for lots of skin issues. This soap could be used all the time and may be helpful for dermatitis or eczema.

Unfortunately, jewelweed does not keep well. It isn't something that can be bought dried; it must be used fresh and processed right away.

We have been using jewelweed spray for poison ivy outbreaks this summer with great success! It does seem to dry it out quite nicely.

To make jewelweed spray I harvested jewelweed plants and cut up the stems, leaves and flowers and covered them with grain alcohol. (You need a high proof alcohol because you are using fresh plant material which is higher in water than dried. Using a lower proof alcohol can make the water to alcohol ratio too high and increase the risk of it going bad.)

After 2 weeks I strained out the plant material and put the liquid in spray bottles. My kids prefer this to a salve because it isn't greasy or messy at all. (Though it will sting broken skin.) This will keep for a couple of years.


~Mama to Many~

Replied by Dalai Mama
(Southern Louisiana)

Thanks so much for the instructions! I want to try making both :) I'm new at herbal blends and concoctions, but I'm assuming the low and slow heat from the crock pot draws the needed oils and such from the plant overnight? I'm excited to give this a try! Thanks again!

Mama to Many

Dear Dalai Mama,

Yes, the slow and low heating will help extract the properties in the plants!


~Mama to Many~