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Thread: Spotted Jewelweed: An Important Medicinal Plant

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    Epic Crazy Idiot ElisaTheDuck's Avatar
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    Default Spotted Jewelweed: An Important Medicinal Plant

    Spotted jewelweed
    Impatiens capensis

    -Description
    Spotted jewelweed is an annual shrub-like plant native to North America. It grows in wet, moist areas and in forests, anywhere near a small, still body of water like a swamp or marsh. It gets the name "jewelweed" from its translucent green leaves, whose underside turns silver when submerged underwater. Spotted jewelweed is nicknamed "spotted touch-me-not", because the plant's green seed pods explode when you handle them. The leafy plant grows up to five feet tall, and leaves and flowers grow out from green, easily-breakable stems. The trumpet-shaped flowers are light orange and speckled with dark orange dots, and they hang off their stems.

    -Parts used/medicinal uses
    Jewelweed is used as an effective treatment for poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle sting, bee stings, bug bites, various rashes, and inflamed skin as it has cooling, anti-itch, and anti-inflammatory properties, which can come in handy if you enjoy hiking in forests. Jewelweed is also usually found in the same areas as poison ivy, so you can have the remedy right when you need it. To treat the above-mentioned problems on-spot, break off a stem that hasn't flowered yet and squeeze the juices onto the cut, rash, or sting. An infusion of the leaves can be used immediately or frozen for future use. A helpful tip is to freeze the liquid in ice cube trays and rub the cubes on your skin when needed. Internally, jewelweed tea is used as a diuretic (eliminates excess fluid from the body).

    -Look alike
    Spotted jewelweed is the cousin of the more rare pale jewelweed, whose flowers are a light yellow.

    -Other names
    Orange jewelweed, common jewelweed, spotted touch-me-not, orange balsam.


    -article by Elisa
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    Last edited by ElisaTheDuck; 08-30-2015 at 05:00 PM.


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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Actually, it's not very effective against poison ivy. I have a rather large patch of spotted jewelweed growing around my rain barrels. I managed to infect both forearms this spring with poison ivy. The second time in my life I've had it. Jewelweed did nothing for it. A complete and dismal failure. Benedryl cream is the berries for poison ivy, however. It took a good two weeks or a little longer for the crap to clear up.

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    Epic Crazy Idiot ElisaTheDuck's Avatar
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    That's a surprise to me because I know many people who have used it for poison ivy and it worked, and I myself have used it for rashes, burns, and bug bites and it works extremely well. It might be that it only works for certain people, like many other medicinal plants have been reported as working very well for some people and not working at all for others.

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    Jewelweed is supposed to be an antidote for treating exposed areas right after exposure. It is supposed to neutralize the oil somehow. Once the rash breaks out there is usually no urushoil present to neutralize.

    I am in poison ivy constantly when in the woods. I have never had a reaction. I have also been exposed to many of the other plants in the same like cashew trees, mango, Brazilian pepper and Florida poisonwood. I have never had a reaction though.

    We do not have jewelweed down here. But, we have a tree that grows in all of the woods I go into called the gumbo limbo tree. It's bark is said to be an antidote to the poisonwood tree. Since the allergen is the same for all of these plants it would seem the antidote would be the same as well. But, with the gumbo limbo I have read you have to boil the bark which peels off easily in thin layers to extract the oil to neutralize the urushoil.

    I have also read that using a topical with an antihistamine in it can cause a reaction identical to the reaction to poison ivy. I am sure it does so in a small percent of the population. I'll provide link. But, this is what the article says.

    Apply Calamine Lotion with or without doing the vinegar soaks. This also helps to dry the weeping. I particularly like Calamine with Pramoxine, which is an additional anti-itch medicine that provides relief. Avoid Calamine Lotions with antihistamines (Benedryl, diphenhydramine, etc.) or topical anesthetics (“cains” such as lanocaine and benzocaine) because they can cause an allergic reaction that looks exactly like poison oak/ivy.
    http://www.drbaileyskincare.com/blog...nd-poison-ivy/

    The reaction in people that are allergic to urushoil seems to be different for each plant I have seen reactions to also. So, while they are the same plant family and the irritant is supposed to be the same. The reactions vary a lot from plant to plant.

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    Epic Crazy Idiot ElisaTheDuck's Avatar
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    I'm guessing that the gumbo limbo tree grows in warmer climates because I have never heard of it, but the information that you have just provided is fascinating. I'll keep that in mind the next time someone I know has a reaction to poison ivy.

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    I got a hornit sting on my person on the way to a wilderness skills camp a few years ago. Jewelweed was a blessing.
    Last edited by Rick; 08-31-2015 at 07:49 AM. Reason: Dang...We do have kids on here.

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    Epic Crazy Idiot ElisaTheDuck's Avatar
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    It's one of my most favourite medicinal plants for that reason. I used it on my friend after she got her arm full of swollen, stinging cuts from blackberry bushes and she was shocked at how fast the swelling went down and sting went away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Actually, it's not very effective against poison ivy. I have a rather large patch of spotted jewelweed growing around my rain barrels. I managed to infect both forearms this spring with poison ivy. The second time in my life I've had it. Jewelweed did nothing for it. A complete and dismal failure....
    This is surprising to me too. I've been dabbling in herbal medicine for almost 30 years, and know this plant well enough to offer some halfway good ideas why the Jewelweed failed to help you.

    I'm wondering if maybe you waited too long to use it, and the rash was well set. (In addition to its legendary anti-inflammatory properties, JW is well known for helping to neutralize the plant's irritating oils which helps to keep the rash from forming and spreading.)

    Or, maybe you were having more of a reaction than is customary for most people. (You mentioned that it was the second time in your life you had the Poison Ivy rash, so maybe it was also a bit of an initial sensitivity thing going on at the time, too?)

    A third guess is that possibly the way you administered it may not have been effective?

    I dunno why it didn't work, but I hope you don't give up on it entirely, and give it another chance. You may be pleasantly surprised.
    Genius is making a way out of no way.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Probably waited too long. Just a guess though. I only had one blister but did have itchy streaks where the vine touched. The blister was already formed when I used the jewelweed. I threatened the whole patch with the weedeater if it didn't work. I didn't use it so they aren't afraid of me now.

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    but I hope you don't give up on it entirely, and give it another chance.
    golden slot ปิดปรับปรุง

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