Jewelweed: Health and Medicinal Benefits


What Jewelweed Looks Like

Spotted Jewelweed, or common Jewelweed scientifically recognized as Impatiens capensis, is a yearly plant belonging to the Balsaminaceae family (i.e., Touch-Me-Not family). The plant is indigenous to Eastern N. America (but invasive in the Pacific Northwest).

The plant is a tall, erect, herbaceous creature that normally grows up to 2 to 5 ft. (0.6-1.5 m) in height. The plant is often found growing along river banks and canals, in low-lying wet woodlands borders, sheltered riverbanks, roadside ditches, along creeks, lake, pond stream edges, bottomland soils, and swamp forests, marshes, margins of ponds, marshy areas, often in somewhat disturbed areas, like excavations. The plant is simply grown in medium to moist soils in part shade to full shade. It is most excellent in wet, humus soils in part cover. The plant has a thin root system. Rotund stems are glabrous (smooth) and tender and translucent, with inflamed or darkened nodes on some plants. They are, therefore, rather delicate and pliable. It gives its juice when broken.

Common Names

Jewel balsam weed, Garden balsam, Jewelweed, Touch-me-not, etc.

Genus name is generated from the Latin word impatiens typifying impatient about the violent, aggressive seed discharge from the mature pods. Specific description means of the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, but this is confusing here as this plant is indigenous to N. America. It was originally thought that the plant hailed from that area. The familiar name Jewel-weed refers to the silvered exterior of dew or raindrops on the leaves. Similarly familiar name Touch-me-not refers to the fruit which burst out when touched, discarding the seeds several feet away.

Medicinal/Health Benefits of Jewelweed

Jewelweed is a plant that is well known for its skin healing abilities. It is dubbed by people as a miracle plant for the reason that it is used by herbalists for curing plant induced rashes like oak and poison ivy. It is exactly a heal-all counter-reacting herb that fights the negative reaction caused by other herbs. Shall we now go into details?

  1. Poison Ivy Rash Treatment

The most known medicinal use for Jewelweed is in the curing of poison ivy. Apply jewelweed fluid to an area on the body in contact with poison ivy to prevent the rash from the poison ivy from surfacing. It does not only work to prevent a rash but also in the curing of an existing poison ivy rash.


In a study in 1958, it was found that Impatiens Biflora was an efficient alternative medication for skin irritants caused by direct contact with sumac. Later after, studies, however, never gave the same antipruritic effects after the rash surfaced. These contradictory studies were reviewed, and it was revealed that the method used to make and the typing of the application tells the effects of the Jewelweed to fight the poison ivy. According to a succeeding study done in 2012, some extracts made from the orange Jewelweed were not as effectual as topical application of the compressed stems and foliage to the affected area.

If you already have the rash, break some stems of the Jewelweed and rub the juice on the rash until you pull out some blood. The rash will eventually dry out, a scab will be formed, and curing will take place often within a few days.

  1. Bid Farewell to Itch

scratching skinSkin irritation is indeed weird. The continuous itchiness and soreness are often too much to bear; unless one scratches. But that is the thing… scratching the site does you no good at all. Rubbing and scratching itchy skin can potentially injure you further. You are running the risk of proliferating the irritation to some other unaffected parts of your skin. And for the irritating itch, Jewelweed is the right answer.

A salve of Jewelweed together with goat milk soap may ease blistering skin and itching within minutes. Because it is unfailing, handmade, and very natural, you should be able to produce a jewelweed soap and salve that works. So if you are afflicted with skin itchiness, all you should do is use some salve, and you will surely be fine after a short while. So it is time for you to stand on your toes to fight those irritating itch!

  1. Antimicrobial activity

Compounds having antifungal and antibacterial activity have been secluded from the aerial parts of Jewelweed (I. Balsamina) as well as from its seeds. The capability may be limited to the herb’s ability to fight pathogens, despite the said traditional use of jewelweed tea for fungal and systemic infections. Antimicrobials and antifungal activities were obvious with saponin-containing extracts at levels of 1 g plant material/g saponin when examined against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria (i.e., Staphylococcus EpidermidisPseudomonas Aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, or Escherichia coli) or Candida albicans.

  1. Fight Heat Rash

Excess heat, basically during summertime, can lead skin to dry up; and in turn, makes one’s skin itchy.

The good news is that jewelweed salve may counter the harshness of the summer heat. This is the reason why it is suggested for you to buy some and keep stock at home. This will be helpful during the summer or if you travel to humid countries. Trust me, this must come in handy.

  1. Cancer

In-vitro anticancer activities were investigated in melanoma, breast, and colon cancer cell lines with a solution made from a dried extract of the herb and applied at levels of 100, 80, 64, 48, and 34mcg/mL. Cytotoxicity of dose-response was observed in breast cancer cells, which also demonstrated distinct typical of apoptosis with low levels producing a 39.8 percent reduction in cell growth and increased concentrations led to no growth. Cytostatic activities were documented in cancer cells of the colon, and no growth inhibition was noticed in the melanoma cell line.

  1. Skin Nourishing At Its Finest

For things that do so much good to your skin, you would assume that its effects begin and end with the “healing” aspect, but not to a certain extent.

Not known to many people, Jewelweed can help moisturize your skin. It lets the skin stay soft, nourished, and healthy. The healing oils aid your skin get more immunity to further damage and also energizes the skin.

You may think of it as a vitamin that helps you boost the immune system. Only this time, we are talking about our amazing Jewelweed and your skin.

  1. Cardio-stimulant

A possible helpful chronotropic effect was observed with the supplementation of I. Capensis saponin extract to the controlled pond water environment containing blackworms (Lumbriculus Variegatus) at a level of 100 mg extracted plant material/mL of the pond water. The resting heart rate of these five black worms raised immediately to 107.5 percent of resting rate, and within five minutes to 138 percent of heart rate, no increment in heart rate was noticed in the 3 controls.

  1. Effect on blood pressure

dates benefitsSome researchers have estimated the protective effect of extracts of I. Textori and I. Balsamina species flowers on acute hypotension resulting from induced anaphylaxis in mice. The result indicates the occurrence of a platelet-activating factor antagonist, as well as a substance with a weak antihistamine effect.

Clinical Overview

  • Use

Amazing Jewelweed is most generally known for its antipruritic use in the healing of poison ivy rash. It has also been extensively used as an agent to boost blood flow, for joint pain, and post-childbirth swelling, and bruises, and as a remedy to fish poisoning. However, there is no clinical proof available to buttress its use for any indication.

  • Adverse Reactions

Research discloses little information about adverse reactions with the topical application of this product. The use of Impatiens spp. tea has been proved to cause digestive upset, while eating of the whole plant triggers dieresis and vomiting.

  • Side Effects and Safety

Jewelweed is POSSIBLY SAFE for most folks when taken either by mouth or applied topically to the skin. No significant side reactions have been reported to date.

Special Precautions and Warnings

  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding

There is not adequate, reliable information about the safe use of taking Jewelweed if you are pregnant or lactating. Just remain on the safe side and avoid use.

  • Toxicology

There are yet no published reports of toxicity related to the topical application of jewelweed extracts. The safety of ingestion is also not well-defined.

  • Dosing

Crushed Jewelweed has often been used as a topical paste for poison ivy; however, no exact dose has been dogged in clinical trials.