Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) and its Uses

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The jewelweed is in flower, and I recently came across large amounts of it on a weekend walk through the woods.  Seemed it was everywhere, at every turn, blinking and shimmering in the sun like orange and yellow fairy hats.

Found: Wet and shady soil; most of U.S. (See USDA Distribution Map)

Identifying: Jewelweed grows 3 – 5 feet tall.  The leaves are oval and toothed with the lower ones growing opposite one another, the upper leaves growing in an alternate pattern.  The flowers are orange-yellow with dark orange-red spots.  They hang down and to me, they look like little pointy hats or bonnets.

Parts Used: Leaves, juice

Medicinal Use: As a fresh poultice for poison ivy, bruises and cuts, burns, eczema, sores and sprains, warts, ringworm, athlete’s foot and bug bites. 

Preparation: As a poultice, smash the fresh leaves and apply to affected area.  Or for poison ivy relief, prepare a tea and freeze into ice cubes. Rub on rash. If you encounter poison ivy or a nasty bug bite while in the woods, you can crush and rub the leaves directly on the skin. If you’ve got an all-over case of poison ivy, you can prepare a strong tea from the fresh plant and pour the tea into the bath for soaking.

Allergic Reactions/Warnings

Note: These posts are not meant to be a medical guide but an overview. Consulting an herbal specialist is always recommended.

A Large Area of Jewelweed.  Isn't it Beautiful?
A Large Area of Jewelweed. Isn't it Beautiful?

2 thoughts on “Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) and its Uses

  1. We were just learning about jewelweed last month when my daughter got Fancy Nancy Poison Ivy Expert for her birthday. She loves the fancy-ness of it!

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