So what do you do if you come into contact with poison ivy? Washing with soap and water are of some help, especially when done immediately after exposure. If soap and water are lacking where you are, try a traditional native plant remedy, which I have used successfully on many occasions. Look for jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) in moist and shady areas, and crush the juicy, purplish stalk into a slimy paste. Briskly scrub this snotty-looking mush all over the skin where it came into contact with the irritant. After two minutes, wash off the jewelweed with clean water. If you use the jewelweed within 30 to 45 minutes of poison ivy exposure, you should have little to no reaction. If it took more time to find jewelweed, you can still experience some relief by using jewelweed as a wash. If you already have blisters and itch, then you got into the ivy yesterday. Jewelweed will cool the itch, but calamine lotion will work just as well at that point.