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For Your Outdoors

Jewelweed Salve For Poison Ivy

Posted by on Sep 23, 2012 in Skin & Hair Care | 4 comments

Jewelweed Salve For Poison Ivy

For all of those suffering from a late-season bout of poison ivy, here’s a recipe for a jewelweed salve that is equally as effective as the homemade poison ivy relief spray I shared a few months ago. The salve uses grapeseed oil because it is light and has an astringent quality to help dry up the rash which is often oily. Also, unlike other oils, grapeseed oil does not have a strong scent so there is no need to add fragrance or essential oils which could irritate the rash. The most difficult part about making the salve is identifying jewelweed for the first time, if you’re not familiar with it. For tips on finding the plant, see this post. Jewelweed Poison Ivy Relief Salve 2015-01-07 20:13:45 Write a review Save Recipe Print Ingredients 1/2 cup grapeseed oil 1 ounce jewelweed (cleaned and chopped) .3 ounces beeswax 1/4 teaspoon vitamin E Instructions Clean the jewelweed like you would if you were going to eat it so you remove germs and bacteria that could cause your spray to spoil. Finely chop the stalk, leaves and flowers (if there are any). You won't have to use the whole plant. Most of the juice is in the lower part of the stalk so I take the section from the root to the first leaf node for the infusion. Tie the loose jewelweed in cheesecloth. Put the grapeseed oil and pouch of jewelweed into an oven safe dish. Heat for 3 hours at 200 degrees. Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool until you can handle the pouch of jewelweed. Then squeeze all of the oil out of the cheese cloth, while crushing the jewelweed to get all of the juice out too. Heat oil in double boiler, then add beeswax, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the vitamin E. Immediately pour mixture a container and let it sit uncovered for 24 hours to cool. Notes Recipe makes 4 ounces. Plan for 15 minutes of prep time and 3+ hours of cook time. A Green Routine http://agreenroutine.com/ Update 7/13 Today @NekoCase tweeted us at @AGreenRoutine and said she thought she over heated her jewelweed salve because there were browned bits that settled to the bottom of her salve. If this happens to you, don’t worry about it. It’s just small bits of jewelweed that made it through your strainer and were browned by the heat. This is common when your working with plants. If it bothers you, you can remove more of the plant matter by straining the infused oil through a doubled up cheesecloth a few times, before you heat it.   Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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Jewelweed: A Natural Home Remedy For Treating Poison Ivy

Posted by on Jul 5, 2012 in For Your Home, Skin & Hair Care | 15 comments

Jewelweed: A Natural Home Remedy For Treating Poison Ivy

When Kim and I were young we often played in the woods and that led to regular, minor poison ivy rashes and the occasional head to toe rash. We are experienced poison ivy suffers and we’ve tried a number of poison ivy remedies to help relieve the itch but I hadn’t heard of using jewelweed to treat poison ivy until I was visiting my brother a month ago. At his local farmer’s market I saw someone selling a jewelweed spray as poison ivy treatment. I didn’t buy it because I already had poison ivy once this summer and naively thought I would be more careful and wouldn’t get it again this year. Of course, 10 days later I had it all over my forearm. Luckily, out of curiosity, I had been researching jewelweed and I had a few ideas about how to make my own natural poison ivy remedy by turning the plant into an effective itch reliever. Identifying The Jewelweed Plant Making jewelweed salve is easy, the hardest part is identifying jewelweed for the first time. Jewelweed grows in wet, shaded soil in the northeastern, southwestern and midwestern United States. It grows up to 4 feet tall and has a hollow stalk which is mostly green, with some red near the lower leaf nodes and at the base, right above the shallow root system. It a member of the Impatiens genus and like the impatiens that are commonly used for landscaping they have a hollow stalk. The flowers, which are yellow or orange, are the best identifying features for the plant. Click the thumbnails below for to view larger images of the jewelweed plant.   Jewelweed is invasive, and in colder parts of the country it’s annual, and so you shouldn’t have any qualms about pulling the plant out of the ground when you find it. Since the plant starts to wilt soon after you pick it, immediately refrigerate or freeze the plants you don’t use for treatment. If you’re unable to locate a convenient source of jewelweed, you can buy seeds to plant. When choosing a planting location, avoid riverbeds and hillsides because the shallow root system will accelerate erosion in those areas. Homemade Jewelweed Poison Ivy Remedies You can make a poison ivy remedy from jewelweed by: crushing a stalk and rubbing the juice on the poison ivy rash. This offers immediate but short-term relief. chopping the stalks and leaves, boiling them water for 5-10 minutes, straining the liquid and freezing it in ice cube trays. I didn’t try this because this treatment would not travel well. making a soap. I didn’t try this either because I don’t have soap making supplies. infusing the stalk and leaves in witch hazel. This is my favorite solution because you don’t have to touch the rash to apply it. Also, witch hazel is an astringent so it helps dry the oils that often accompany a poison ivy rash. making a salve. This works as well as the spray. Use...

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Garlic Harvesting, A Summer Solstice Tradition

Posted by on Jun 29, 2012 in Food & Recipes | 3 comments

Garlic Harvesting, A Summer Solstice Tradition

I usually look forward to harvesting my garlic on the summer solstice, however, the unseasonably hot weather in May and June forced the garlic to mature early so I can’t keep my tradition this year. Instead I am writing this article, to convince you to grow it, if you don’t already since now is the best time to buy or beg for the garlic you need to plant in September. Why should I grow garlic? Growing your own garlic is environmentally friendly because most of the garlic in American grocery stores is imported from China and transporting garlic across an ocean is a waste of energy. It is economically intelligent because you just need to buy cloves once to grow garlic the rest of your life. And it is incredibly rewarding because for just a few hours effort you can grow enough garlic to supply yourself for the year. How do I grow garlic? On the autumnal equinox (around September 22nd) prepare a sunny, well drained planting area by pulling weeds, digging in compost and raking the area flat. Plant your cloves, with the skins on and the pointy side up, about 1 inch deep. Cloves should be 6 inches apart and rows should be 12 inches apart. About 4 weeks later, before the ground starts to freeze solid, mulch with leaves or straw to help prevent frost heave and keep the weeds to a minimum in the spring. In the spring, when the weather warms up again, I dig in more compost and if it’s really dry I’ll water the garlic. You don’t want water too much though, or the bulbs will rot. What should I know about harvesting garlic? If you have been watering the garlic, stop one week prior to harvesting because you want the ground and garlic to be dry. You will know the garlic is ready when the leaves start turning brown. This is usually on the summer solstice (around June 22nd). Store the garlic in a cool, dry place for a week, then brush off the dirt and trim the roots. You may trim the leaves, but leave the stalk a few inches long because it will help keep the garlic from sprouting. Choose which garlic heads you want to use for planting cloves next year and set them aside. I always choose the best looking heads because they are mostly likely to grow the best garlic next year. Return your garlic to its cool, dry place until you are ready to use it. Never store garlic in a plastic bag since that will encourage moisture build up. Oh, and you should use the space where you had the garlic to plan another crop. Squash, cucumbers, melons or beans are all good options to plant at this time of year. I’m in. Where do I buy garlic for planting? You will have the best luck purchasing garlic at your local garden center, feed store, or farmer’s market. I recommend you start looking for...

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All-Natural Bug Spray

Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Skin & Hair Care | 3 comments

All-Natural Bug Spray

The field I play ultimate Frisbee on every week is home to the biggest mosquitoes I’ve ever seen. After the first game, I knew I needed to arm myself with bug spray the next week. For a camping trip last year I bought an all-natural bug spray which worked without smelling terrible and toxic like regular bug spray. This year, I decided to make my own. The project is simple – combine plant oils that naturally repel bugs, put them in a spray bottle and apply. So what plants don’t mosquitoes like? Cedar, citronella (lemon balm), clove, eucalyptus,  lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, rose geranium, spearmint, rosemary and tea tree. Combine one or more essential oils from those plants with witch hazel to make an all-natural bug spray. Witch Hazel can be found at most pharmacies (I picked up a bottle for $3.29 at Target) and the oils can often be purchased at natural food stores or co-ops. I chose those three essential oils because I had them on hand but you can use any combination to suit your needs or sense of smell. To repel mosquitoes around your house, you can also grow any of those plants in your yard. All-Natural Bug Spray 2015-03-21 18:56:08 Keep mosquitoes away with your own, customizable bug spray. Follow the recipe exactly or substitute the essential oils with cedar, citronella (lemon balm), clove, lemongrass, peppermint, rose geranium, spearmint and/or rosemary. Write a review Save Recipe Print Ingredients 3.5 ounces witch hazel (just under a half a cup) 1/2 teaspoon lavender essential oil 1/2 teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil 1/2 teaspoon tea tree essential oil Instructions Combine all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake before using because the oils will separate from the witch hazel. Notes Makes 4 ounces. A Green Routine http://agreenroutine.com/ Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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