Jewelweed

(Impatiens capensis)

Other Names:
Spotted touch me not

Range:

Family:
Balsaminaceaeā€“ Touch Me Not family

Growth Type:
An annual herbaceous plant

Height:
3 - 5 ft in height

Leaves:
The leaves are oval and toothed. The lower leaves are arranged opposite, while the upper leaves are alternate.

Stem/Trunk:
The stems are somewhat translucent, succulent and have swollen or darkened nodes.

Root:
Not observed

Flower Season:
Summer to Autumn

Flower Appearance:
The flowers are orange with red spots and a three-lobed corolla; one of the calyx lobes is colored similarly to the corolla and forms a hooked conical spur at the back of the flower.

Seed/Fruit:
The seed pods are pendant and have projectile seeds that explode out of the pods when they are lightly touched, if ripe, which is where the name touch-me-not comes from.

Miscellaneous characteristics:
The seed pods are pendant and have projectile seeds that explode out of the pods when they are lightly touched, if ripe, which is where the name touch-me-not comes from.

Habitat:
Bottomland soils, ditches, and along creeks, often growing side-by-side with its less common relative, Yellow Jewelweed

Parts Used:
Aerial parts

Uses:
Wild Food Uses:
None Known

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditionally Jewelweed has been used to treat skin rashes and irritations. I have used it to soothe a friend's poison ivy rash. I have heard it works as a preventative for poison ivy, but cannot personally attest to this.

You can preserve Jewelweed for use throughout the year by making a simple Jewelweed vinegar. Fill a mason jar with finely chopped or crushed jewelweed, and fill it once again with apple cider vinegar. Cover, and place in a cupboard for four weeks. Make sure to shake it at least once a day for the first week or so. After the four weeks pour the contents of the jar through a strainer lined with cheesecloth, into a large bowl. Pour the vinegar back into the cleaned jar. The covered jar will keep in a cupboard for about a year. I use this vinegar to soothe itches throughout the year. All you need to do is put a bit of it into a spray bottle, and spray it onto itchy skin to immediately alleviate the itch. If you do not have a spray bottle, you can apply the vinegar with a cloth or paper towel just as easily.

Jewelweed herbal preparation links:
Soothing Jewelweed Ointment

Medicinal Actions:
Antipruritic, Demulcent, Emollient

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