Veterinarian Reviewed on June 15, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Jewelweed herb (Impatiens capensis) is a flowering plant which is distributed in the Northern Hemisphere and in the regions of the tropics. Other names of the Jewelweed herb are impatiens, balsams and touch-me-nots which are common in European countries and in North America.
The leaves of the Jewelweed herb are smooth in texture and the flowers may look like little trumpets that may hang from the Jewelweed plant like a beautiful necklace. There are several varieties of the Jewelweed herb and some flowers may be colored pale yellow and orange with red dots.
The Jewelweed herb is known to have an antipruritic effect and is used in many herbal remedies.
History and Origin
The Jewelweed herb is cultivated as a garden plant because of the pretty variety of flowers. The name Jewelweed herb is mainly derived from the colorful flowers that hang from the plant. There are many medicinal uses of the Jewelweed and it is found to be most effective in the treatment of insect bites and sever itching due to various skin allergies.
The use of the Jewelweed herb during ancient times was for the treatment of stings and insect bites. It was also used as a poultice to treat wounds and boils, reducing infection and inflammation of cuts and other skin disorders.
The Jewelweed herb is considered to be a very effective home remedy in the treatment of insect stings and bites. Bee stings, stinging nettle and poison ivy are easily treated by the Jewelweed herb due to its antipruritic effect.
Jewelweed herb also contains chemicals like quinine that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and as a fungicide that can treat fungal infections of the skin and nails. Other skin healing properties of the Jewelweed herb is seen in the treatment of rashes due to skin allergies. There are also poultices and salves that can be prepared with Jewelweed herb and are very effective to remedy bruises, cuts, burns, sores, sprains and parasitic infections of the skin such as ringworms.
Jewelweed herb is also an ingredient in Henna which is used in hair coloring and in skin coloring or tattoos. In fact, Jewelweed herb mixed with rose and orchid petals are used as nail polish in China.
Jewelweed is not advised to be taken orally as a decoction, tincture or as Jewelweed herb tea. This may cause a bad reaction with alcohol and may also be very toxic. Jewelweed can be infused and preserved for later use. Although there are no side effects for the use of Jewelweed herb as a topical treatment of many skin irritation and skin infections, pregnant and lactating women are cautioned against the use of this herbal remedy.
Although it is best to use Jewelweed herb as a home remedy for skin illnesses but it is still better to consult a dermatologist for any skin disorder to get the most appropriate treatment and accurate diagnosis. Wash the skin with soap and water before applying Jewelweed herb preparations on wounds, cuts and boils. Never apply Jewelweed herb on infected skin or in open cuts with oozing blood or pus. Always have a doctor diagnose wounds for infection before applying any herbal remedy.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan