What I found on my walk down the road: Jewelweed, nature’s anti-itch medicine

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), also is known as orange jewelweed, common jewelweed, spotted jewelweed, spotted touch-me-not, or orange balsam. It is an annual plant native to North America and has been used by Native Americans and herbalists (and my family) to treat all manner of skin rashes and even insect bites.

The leaves and the juice from the stem can be used to treat poison oak, poison ivy, and other rashes caused by plants.  Other skin conditions such as eczema as well as insect bites can be treated with poultices and salves made from jewelweed.

Some years ago on one of our camping outings we arrived at the campsite late and set up in the dark. The next morning, our daughter K’s feet, ankles and lower legs were covered in ant bites, as we had set up close to an ant hill without realizing it.  A nearby camper came to our aid by going into the woods, picking jewelweed, and having K. sit with her feet in a bucket of warm water infused with jewelweed. That was my first introduction to the plant.

I was delighted recently to find it growing and in bloom along our roadside.

The jewelweed flower actually is very small but very beautiful…


Jewelweed 2-3

Jewelweed 3

(Photos were taken with my cell phone and from a distance.)


“Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favor compared with the products of nature, the living cell of the plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.”  (Thomas Edison)


4 thoughts on “What I found on my walk down the road: Jewelweed, nature’s anti-itch medicine

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