The Empire Strikes Back
Poison ivy and jewelweed are sitting in a tree
Last year, discovered that we have a very nice view of our neighbor’s pond that was obstructed by a bunch of ugly trees. Unfortunately, these trees were left to grow wild for about two decades. Last year, we declared war on said trees and cut them all down. Well, if you know anything about trees (I did not), then chances are, you know that poison ivy loves to climb them. And poison ivy lasts much longer than your great aunt Betty’s fruitcake. Dogs, cats, other animals, and birdies are also not affected by poison ivy, so they spread it around. In other words, it never goes away.
So what’s I’ve been doing been this past week … very irresponsibly, I might add, so don’t try this yourself … is setting fire to the poison ivy. This involves putting tree trunks infected with the ivy in a big pile, adding tons and tons of paper, setting it ablaze … and then running like hell. (Just as a side note: poison ivy itself is flammable due to the same oil that humans are allergic to.)
Well, here’s the irresponsible part. Poison ivy is still @^#%?*!$ poisonous when it’s on fire. If you inhale that sh*t, your lungs get poison ivy, and you basically explode.* (Hence the running like hell part.)
Aha! But I redeem myself! This spring, I decided that I needed some jewelweed. Jewelweed, otherwise known as touch-me-nots, is one of those magical plants that likes to grow in exactly the same places as poison ivy. It’s long been touted as a natural remedy to the itchies. I bought a bunch on Etsy from a very nice person doing God’s work of selling weeds that I am too lazy to find myself.
So thought that this newsletter, I would give you my recipe for Jewelweed Salve and Jewelweed Tea. Just in case you are battling your trees, too. I recently made some because my husband and I got poison ivy battling the tree stumps and logs from last year’s trees.
* Or it feels like you’ve exploded.
10 Steps on How to Treat Poison Ivy with Jewelweed
Avoid poison ivy at all costs
If you can’t, douse yourself with IvyX
Complain profusely that IvyX is expensive
Determine that no price is too much to avoid getting poison ivy
When you forget to use it and you get infected, scratch yourself so much that you make yourself bleed
Go walking near some trees to find some jewelweed that grows wild
Get reinfected with the poison ivy that grows near the jewelweed
Make yourself some jewelweed tea and jewelweed salve
Promise yourself that you will never, ever go walking amongst trees without dousing yourself with IvyX
Jewelweed Poison Ivy Salve Recipe
Okay, this salve is super easy to make. Gather up a bunch of jewelweed: stems, leaves, flowers, and all. Chop it up with some kitchen shears. Dump in a slow cooker. Cover with enough olive oil (or jojoba oil or coconut oil or whatever kind of oil you want). Set on low for about 8 hours. Strain and add some beeswax pellets. Store in the fridge if you want. The more beeswax you add, the more lotion-y the salve will be. You can also add shea butter and really make it into a lotion.
Jewelweed Tea for Poison Ivy
This is even easier. Do everything above, except add distilled water instead of oil to the slow cooker. You also don’t want to add the beeswax pellets. You can add some vinegar or witch hazel after the stuff cools to make it like an astringent. Or, for especially itchy poison ivy patches, soak some cotton pads with it and put in the freezer for 10 minutes. You can also just make up some ice cubes. It obviously cannot “stay” on your skin like a salve can.
The Book Promos
Today, we have a ton of awesome group promos. Download a bunch of free books to take along to the beach.
I read Secret Witness by Victor Mentos. I got this free on the Kindle, probably from Amazon Prime First Reads. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. This book also proves that you don’t need to write behemoth 250k word novels to have a good book. (Yeah, I’m looking at you, Brandon Sanderson.) Read my legal synopsis and book review here.
I’m currently writing a book review (long overdue) of Matt Graham’s Behind the Robe. I unfortunately have not been able to get to writing it yet, but once I write the review, I will be giving away 2 free Kindle copies to newsletter subscribers.
And, more on books: I am reading Misjudged by James Chandler. I have a soft spot for veterans—I sometimes buy soldier and sailor care packages. This book is free if you are an Amazon Prime member.