Jewelweed is best
known for its skin healing properties. The leaves and the juice from the
stem of Jewelweed are used by herbalists as a treatment for poison ivy,
oak and other
plant induced rashes, as well as many other types of dermatitis.
Jewelweed works by counter-reacting with the chemicals in other plants
that cause irritation. Poultices and salves from Jewelweed are a folk
remedy for bruises, burns, cuts, eczema, insect bites, sores, sprains,
warts, and ringworm. Read on to learn to make your own poison ivy treatment
ice cubes with Jewelweed.
Jewelweed is a smooth
annual; 3-5 ft. Leaves oval, round- toothed; lower ones opposite, upper ones
alternate. A bit trumpet shaped, the flowers hang from the plant much as a jewel
from a necklace, Pale Jewelweed has yellow flowers, Spotted Touch-Me-Nots have
orange flowers with dark red dots. The seeds will 'pop' when touched , that is
where the name Touch-Me-Nots came from. The Spotted Jewelweed variety is most
commonly used for treating poison ivy rashes although the Pale Jewelweed may also have medicinal
Jewelweed Pictures by
Karen Bergeron Copyright 2000-2011.
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 will find Jewelweed - however this is not true
as Jewelweed will not grow in dry places for long, and does not thrive in direct
sunlight. Poison Ivy will grow in sun or shade. Jewelweed often grows on the
edge of creek beds. There is plenty of jewelweed in
the wild, and it is not hard to find once you learn to identify it. I
recently read on a newsgroup that the garden variety of impatiens has the same
properties, though not as concentrated. However, the garden variety is much more
suitable for cultivation as its growth is easier to contain.
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Ways to Use Jewelweed
When you are out in the field and find you have been exposed to poison
ivy, oak, or stinging nettle you can reach for the jewelweed plant and slice the
stem, then rub its juicy inside on exposed parts. This will promptly ease
irritation and usually prevents breakout for most people.
Jewelweed or an infusion made from boiling leaves of Impatiens capensis
may be frozen for later use. Brew chopped jewelweed in boiling water until you
get a dark orange liquid. Yellow Jewelweed will not yield orange color and may
not be effective. Strain the liquid and pour into ice cube trays. When you have
a skin rash, rub it with a jewelweed cube and you will be amazed with its
healing properties. It will keep in freezer up to a year. You can also preserve
the infusion by canning it in a pressure cooker.
Jewelweed does not dry well due to its high moisture and oil content.
Do not make alcoholic tinctures from Jewelweed because some people have had a
bad reaction using jewelweed with alcohol.
Use my Amazing Jewelweed soap, salve and spray products made from jewelweed that
is always fresh, never dried! And they do not contain alcohol which may spread
the oils. If they don't work great for you, and clear up rash within a few days;
send them back for full refund.
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Clinical Study on Jewelweed
"The Results of a
Clinical Study, in which a 1:4 jewelweed preparation was compared for its
effectiveness with other standard poison ivy dermatitis treatments was published
in 1958 (Annals of Allerty 1958;16:526-527). Of 115 patients treated with
jewelweed, 108 responded ‘most dramatically to the topical application of this
medication and were entirely relieved of their symptoms within 2 or 3 days after
the institution of treatment.' It was concluded that jewelweed is an excellent
substitute for ACTH and the corticosteroids in the treatment of poison ivy
dermatitis. The active principle in the plant responsible for this activity
remains unidentified." by Varro Tyler, PhD in his book
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