Jewelweed, Nature’s Poison Ivy Care

What’s the big deal?

Jewelweed is an indigenous herb found in the North Eastern United States and thankfully, it is prolific in N.E. Ohio, where we live. It was the Native American Indians who shared their knowledge of the herb’s comforting dermatitis qualities, with European immigrants.  It was our great grandmother who passed this knowledge on to us.

Jewelweed neutralizes the resins of poison ivy and calms the skin inflammation which occurs after plant contact. Poison Ivy resin can contaminate wood brought in for your fireplace. Hunters can suffer from contact with the resin even in the Fall and Winter fields. For this reason I manufacture Meadowlake Farm’s Poison Ivy & Itch Relief, (aka Beepharmacy salve),  year round. Our salve is in constant demand because it works. Its comfort is close to immediate. It can be applied around the clock as needed without side effects and as often as desired.

Poultices and salves from Jewelweed are a folk remedy for bruises, burns, cuts, eczema, and insect bites. Jewelweed blooms May through October in the eastern part of North America from Southern Canada to the northern part of Florida. It is found most often in moist woods, usually near poison ivy or stinging nettle. It is commonly said that wherever you find poison ivy, you are likely to find jewelweed. In a pinch, you can apply jewelweed stem juice over skin exposed to poison ivy, oak or insect bites. However, I personally prefer our salve. Our jewelweed is tinctured and blended with raw honey and beeswax also known for their healing properties.

Give our salve a try! Have it on hand. Keep this soothing comfort an elbow’s length away, before you need it. jewelweed

 

 

 

Orange Jewelweed in blossom. Impatiens capensis

 

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Rediscovering Hinds Honey and Almond Cream

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This past summer while walking our dog along an old footpath that straddles our farm and a nearby village, I discovered a small antique bottle protruding from the earth.  I noticed the words, “Hinds Honey and Almond Cream” embossed on its weathered face.  Inwardly I smiled at the happenstance of my finding such a treasure.  I never realized a honey cream had been mass marketed in the United States so long ago.  I set about doing some online research and was surprised at what I learned.

The A. S. Hinds Co. was a family business started in 1875 in Portland, Maine.  It was famous for various creams for the face, hands, and skin.  They were bought out in 1907 by Lehn & Fink, maker of Lysol. The honey almond cream product was still available in 1948.

Hinds Honey and Almond Cream was formulated and marketed by Aurelius Stone Hinds. He moved to Portland in 1862 and worked in a drugstore, which he bought in 1870. He worked on the formulation of the cream for a number of years, and began selling it from the drugstore in the latter part of the 1870’s. It was such a huge success that he put it into commercial production, first in Portland, and at some point distribution was shifted to a company in New Jersey.  There was a Hinds Honey & Almond Cream radio program on CBS, starring George Burns and Gracie Allen from 1939 to 1940 on CBS radio.  The products were very common and widely used well into the 1940’s.  Below are a few ads from the company.

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In my research, I discovered the original formula was very similar to the first cream I created, quit by coincidence.  It was a formula conceived in an era when commercial preservatives, emulsifiers and fragrances had not been invented.  I couldn’t help but ponder the many hours I spent creating something free of these substances in an era when everything contained them. I can only view finding this bottle, learning about Hinds cream and its success as an odyssey and come to one conclusion.

Serendipity.