Stop the Itch of Poison Ivy with Jewelweed

June 15, 2016

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Stop the itch of poison ivy and sting of stinging nettle with a little help from nature. The sap of Orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) has long been used to reduce skin irritation caused by poison ivy and stinging nettles. It’s fungicide qualities have also been put to work treating athlete’s foot. Hikers, gardeners and outdoor people still keep an eye out for nature’s cure to help sooth skin irritations. 

Jewelweed, a member of the Touch-me-not (Balsaminaceae) family, is native to North America and can be found growing in moist partially sunny areas like moist woodlands, floodplains, woodland edges, swamps, and roadside ditches. You’ll also enjoy bumblebees, honeybees and the ruby throated hummingbirds visiting the blossoms for a sip of nectar. For a bit of fun, gently touch the mature seedpods in fall and watch the seeds shoot out into the surrounding area. Thus the family name – touch me not.

A bit more information: This native beauty is pretty to look at, but don’t eat the berries. They can be toxic depending on the person’s age, weight, physical condition and sensitivity. Children are most vulnerable due to their small size and inquisitive nature.

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