Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

Identification:
Tall, leafy plant with succulent translucent stems and pendent golden-orange flowers splotched with reddish-brown.
Flowers: 1 inch long; 1 calyx lobe colored as petals, with a sharply Jewelweed Flower
spurred sac 1/4 inch long; other 2 sepals green; 3 petals, 2 of them lobed, open out at mouth.
Leaves: 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches long, thin, ovate, pale and glaucous underneath.
Fruit: Swollen capsule that explodes at maturity when touched, expelling seeds, hence the name Touch-me-not.

Family: Balsaminaceae (Touch-Me-Not family)

Other Names: Spotted Touch-Me-Not

Flowers: July – October

Parts Used: Leaves and juice

Habitat: Shaded wetlands. Saskatchewan to Newfoundland; south to Georgia; west to Oklahoma; north to Missouri.

Medicinal Properties:
Crushed leaves are poulticed on recent poison ivy rash—a well-known folk remedy. Mucilaginous stem juice (harvested before flowering) also applied to rash. A 1957 study by a physician found it effective (in 2 to 3 days) in treating 108 of 115 patients. Some people swear by the leaf tea as a poison-ivy rash preventative; others rub on frozen tea (in the form of ice cubes) as a remedy. A poultice was used as a folk remedy for bruises, burns, cuts, eczema, insect bites, sores, sprains, warts, and ringworm.

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