Jewelweed Pine Tar best practice

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

Gunnsr42

New Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Phoenix
Newbie so sorry for ignorant questions. I've done a lot of research but need more clear answers. I began this adventure to create a great skin soap for my kids. Pine tar was the interest. This grew into a primary desire for a good acne soap for them which brought me to jewel weed. I'm honing in on a good 15% PT recipe but yours are welcome if you believe you have a great one. Family back east was able to find end of season jewelweed and should be arriving today so I have options for which form to use.

My primary concern is effectiveness. I hear lye can ruin the nutrients and its debatable. So I'm wondering if I should do it HP and then add some Jewelweed oil or infused water after soaponification when it cools to a certain temp (if so, what temp?). Can I do a 0% SF in my recipe and use that, about 8%, after cooling?

Another option is doing the same thing but CP and when it cures, use that melt and pour to ad my SF as jewelweed infused and maybe some water infused as well at that time?

I have the same question regarding Pine tar and EO's and adding it (or some of it) after saponification as my SF?

Any effective recipes for extracting jewel weed and storing etc or above related info? .....
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,569
Reaction score
19,700
Location
USA
There are lots of threads here about pine tar soap and a few good ones about jewelweed soap and jewelweed/pine tar soap.

I personally question the use of North American jewelweed in soap -- I'm not at all certain it brings any beneficial properties to soap. The saponins, which are the effective components in jewelweed sap, are water soluble chemicals, not oil soluble, so an oil infusion is probably not useful. If you do decide to use jewelweed in soap, you'll want to use the juice.

Pine tar so far has not been shown in scientific studies to be efficacious for skin issues, although obviously there are lots of anecdotal stories to the contrary. I make a fair bit of pine tar soap, but I don't make any claims about the soap other than it smells like a smoky campfire. ;)

Be aware that what works for one person's skin problems may not work at all ... or even aggravate ... another person's problems. So it might be a trial and error process to find out what's the most effective. If you're new to soap making, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that a soap has to have unusual additives and ingredients to be effective. That's not necessarily true. It's entirely possible a no-fragrance back-to-basics soap might work best on troubled skin.

Something I wrote awhile back --

North American jewelweed (sometimes called Wild Celandine among other names) is used as a folk remedy to treat poison ivy dermatitis. and it's the one I'd look at for helping with other skin problems. This would be Impatiens pallida (yellow jewelweed) or I. capensis (spotted jewelweed). I have yet to see this herb being sold on the market in dried or extract form.

Dried jewelweed loses its efficacy -- it's the wet sap that works. Oil infusions don't work well either -- too much jewelweed sap in oil just makes a moldy mess and the active ingredients apparently are water soluble, not oil soluble. Most people make a tincture of jewelweed and water or witch hazel and refrigerate the tincture. Or they freeze chopped up bits of the plant into ice cubes and rub the ice cubes on affected skin.

The "jewelweed" you find on the market as a dried herb is usually Impatiens balsamica, a plant native to Asia. It has a history of use in folk medicine, but more for digestive ailments and injuries. Impatiens balsamina - Wikipedia.

Another herb mistaken for North American jewelweed is Greater Celandine, Chelidonium majus. It is sourced from Hungary and native to Europe. It is a member of the Papaveraceae (poppy) family. According to the references I found, it is poisonous if ingested, and it can be irritating to the eyes and skin, although it was used traditionally to remove warts. Chelidonium - Wikipedia


More:

Please visit the Introduction forum and tell us a little about yourself and your experience as a soap maker. Welcome!
 

Gunnsr42

New Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Phoenix
thank you @DeeAnna. yes I've seen some of those posts. So it sounds like you don't think PT or JW is effective in soaps, is that correct? The last link you shared is the one with the before after photo which is what really got my kids and I interested. I will still experiment and see, just want the best info so I don't spend years before I figure it out. Knowing if lye or heat kills efficacious or not could save months of trial and error. Also knowing what can be done without ruining a batch. obviously I'd like to start with HP if I can in order to be able to start testing the soap without having to wait 6 weeks.

As an alternative (or addition) what are your thoughts about adding jw to a moisturizer oil (carrier and EO's)? seems with the info about jw molding in oil would not be a good result unless it were to stay refrigerated?

Tincture seems like a bad idea for acne being alcohol it would dry out the skin and we already fight dry skin.

Oh and something I haven't heard talked about is using blended fresh JW and putting it straight in the soap like oatmeal, whether or not that could be effective.
 
Last edited:

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,569
Reaction score
19,700
Location
USA
...it sounds like you don't think PT or JW is effective in soaps, is that correct?...
I don't know. That's the whole thing ... no one truly knows if pine tar or jewelweed is effective. You're going to hear some people say either or both is great for their acne or other skin issue ... and you're going to hear other people say neither one works.

Honestly, this is something you're going to have to experiment with to learn if it works for your family. Some folk remedies are helpful, and some aren't, but there's no body of scientific data for most folk remedies to help a person predict success or failure. You have to try the remedy to find out.

"...blended fresh JW and putting it straight in the soap like oatmeal, whether or not that could be effective. ..."

I have no background to hazard a guess. I haven't heard of anyone else doing this, but that's not to say it's never been done. Just haven't heard of it.

"... obviously I'd like to start with HP if I can in order to be able to start testing the soap without having to wait 6 weeks...."

Okay, this is something I can respond to with a definite answer. This idea that CP soap takes weeks to be safe to use and HP is ready right away is a myth.

Cold process soap and hot process soap are both SAFE to use shortly after saponification is completely over -- say a day after making for HP and several days to a week after making for CP. But they BOTH need a 4-8 week cure to perform at their BEST -- mildest to the skin, physically hard, longest lasting, nicest lather.

For soap that's being used on the face especially irritated or dry facial skin, gentleness is paramount. It may be wise to rein in your eagerness to test -- let the soap cure for some weeks before using it.

"...what are your thoughts about adding jw to a moisturizer oil..."

Jewelweed sap is like any other water-based liquid like milk, aloe, etc. -- it doesn't mix with oil and it's perishable.

Unless you want your kids rubbing a liquid contaminated with molds and bacteria on their faces, you have to pay strict attention to sanitation and preservation if you want to use this stuff over the long haul.

You're going to have a much better chance of keeping the sap sanitary if you don't mix it with oil. It sounds like a neat idea, but ... it's not.

You could eke out a longer shelf life by freezing the sap and defrost only what you'll use in a day or two and keep any unused portion refrigerated.

If you are determined to mix the sap with oil and have the two stay mixed, you're going to need to formulate an emulsified lotion. Keeping this type of lotion safe and sanitary is going to be really difficult. The pros I've listened to always strongly advise against making lotions using large amounts of perishable water-based liquids (aloe, JW sap, milk, beer, etc.) There is an extremely high probability of microbial growth in products like this even with a good broad spectrum preservative.
 

norrysoaper

Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
20
Reaction score
69
Location
Pennsylvania
Even if somehow the jewel weed stayed intact in your soap your rinsing it right off. I opted for a jewel weed infusion. Works very well on any skin irritation, poison ivy.. In my opinion pine tar adds great properties to soap. I use it often for my dry scalp.
 

Gunnsr42

New Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Phoenix
@DeeAnna thats great info and I didn't know about that myth.

So with CP do you know its "safe" when it reaches a certain ph or just as long as its been a week? I understand you want them to cure ideally anyway but some I will likely melt and pour with additives and some test before full cure to analyze fragrances and other details.

@norrysoaper thanks for input. what results have you seen for dry scalp? thats another reason I was looking at pine tar.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
8,607
Reaction score
9,442
Location
Western Illinois, USA
I have psoriasis, so can share as pine tar soap relates to my skin. It soothes, which is about as far as I can go to saying it 'works' for anything medically or cosmetically related. It does not cure or diminish, obviously because even if it could, it doesn't stay on the skin long enough.

I do use a pine tar shampoo (commercial product, NOT lye based) for my scalp and leave it on my scalp for a minimum of one hour prior to washing it out (per Dermatologist instruction.) That does help diminish, but not cure.

I do not use pine tar lye soap on my scalp regularly, but have done perhaps 2 or 3 times when I had the bar soap but had not brought the shampoo with me to the (communal) shower. I would not leave a lye soap on my scalp for the period of time required with the shampoo because I know it to be too harsh.

I have never used Jewelweed, so cannot comment.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,569
Reaction score
19,700
Location
USA
The pH is not a test for excess lye. Soap that is properly made with no excess lye can vary from a pH of 9 to 11, so how do you know what pH is "safe"?

I recommend the zap test. If you simply want to verify safety, wait a week and then test. How To Properly/Safely Conduct The Zap/Tongue Test
 

norrysoaper

Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
20
Reaction score
69
Location
Pennsylvania
@DeeAnna thats great info and I didn't know about that myth.

So with CP do you know its "safe" when it reaches a certain ph or just as long as its been a week? I understand you want them to cure ideally anyway but some I will likely melt and pour with additives and some test before full cure to analyze fragrances and other details.

@norrysoaper thanks for input. what results have you seen for dry scalp? thats another reason I was looking at pine tar.
Pine tar is amazing for my dry scalp. My dad also uses it for his psoriasis.
 

Momofarn

New Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
3
Location
Quebec
Newbie so sorry for ignorant questions. I've done a lot of research but need more clear answers. I began this adventure to create a great skin soap for my kids. Pine tar was the interest. This grew into a primary desire for a good acne soap for them which brought me to jewel weed. I'm honing in on a good 15% PT recipe but yours are welcome if you believe you have a great one. Family back east was able to find end of season jewelweed and should be arriving today so I have options for which form to use.

My primary concern is effectiveness. I hear lye can ruin the nutrients and its debatable. So I'm wondering if I should do it HP and then add some Jewelweed oil or infused water after soaponification when it cools to a certain temp (if so, what temp?). Can I do a 0% SF in my recipe and use that, about 8%, after cooling?

Another option is doing the same thing but CP and when it cures, use that melt and pour to ad my SF as jewelweed infused and maybe some water infused as well at that time?

I have the same question regarding Pine tar and EO's and adding it (or some of it) after saponification as my SF?

Any effective recipes for extracting jewel weed and storing etc or above related info? .....
I have used jewel weed in my soap as a 109% water replacement. It grows on my property so I pick it fresh and purée it. I freeze the purée before dissolving lye. My skin is very prone to rashes and insect bites (bee keeper) I find the soap a godsend.
5C828386-0823-4629-B6B6-8F491CF06677.jpeg
 

Gunnsr42

New Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Phoenix
@Momofarn thats great. I'd like to hear more about the bee connection. my biz partner keeps them and so we deal with more stings then we prefer. how do you use it for that and whats the result?

Also can you clarify your process? you freeze and add lye with it frozen or as soon as it thaws out? You you strain out the puree and freeze the juice? how much water to JW when you puree? And lastly 109% meaning you change your water portion to 109% puree (or JW juice)? i.e.11 oz instead of 10 oz if thats what your recipe called for?
 

Momofarn

New Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
3
Location
Quebec
@Momofarn thats great. I'd like to hear more about the bee connection. my biz partner keeps them and so we deal with more stings then we prefer. how do you use it for that and whats the result?

Also can you clarify your process? you freeze and add lye with it frozen or as soon as it thaws out? You you strain out the puree and freeze the juice? how much water to JW when you puree? And lastly 109% meaning you change your water portion to 109% puree (or JW juice)? i.e.11 oz instead of 10 oz if thats what your recipe called for?
That 109 was supposed to be 100. Sorry for the error. I freeze the purée and add the lye to it frozen. Slow and gradually stirring well between additions. I don’t add any water to purée. I use a blender and it liquifies easily.

I’m a bee keeper and yes I get a few stings a year. My reaction to the stings includes a miserable rash after. The jewel weed soap seems to calm it considerably. We also have a bit of poison ivy too and then I really see the benefits of the soap. Hope this helps.
 
Top