Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - August 28, 2005

From: Alexandria, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Medicinal Plants
Title: Medicinal uses of Orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the best way to extract the juice from the jewelweed plant? And, what can you do with it after that? I know it is considered a remedy for poison ivy and various other skin irritations. So then, how can one harness the power of the jewelweed? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) is claimed to relieve the itching of poison ivy and has been scientifically confirmed to act as a fungicide against athelete's foot. Here are more photos and information from Missouri Plants. According to Delena Tull ("Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest". University of Texas Press. 1987) to prepare it for treating poison ivy one should: "...boil the leaves and succulent stems for a few minutes, the cooled liquid pacifies the itch temporarily and seems to help dry up the bumps."

You can read about Native American use of jewelweed in the Native American Ethnobotany database from the University of Michigan. Another reference for its medicinal properties can be found in Plants for a Future and here are more suggestions for its use.
 

More Medicinal Plants Questions

Treating stings from stinging nettles in Indiana
August 08, 2009 - How can I remove hairlike thorns (as from nettle-type weed)? My hands react within 24 hours with swelling and pain, esp in morning. In past when I have then been able to locate the offending thorn, th...
view the full question and answer

Possible medicinal uses of Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides)
April 13, 2006 - I recently read an article about the healing properties of Spanish Moss. It mentioned reducing bad cholesterol in the human body. What exactly are the properties in this plant that are good for you, ...
view the full question and answer

Medicinal Yerba de la Negrita (Sphaeralcea coccinea)
June 24, 2009 - When I make my own batch of Yerba de la Negrita how long will it keep in the refrigerator?
view the full question and answer

Growing fruits and vegetables from Holbrook NY
April 06, 2012 - I have been looking for information on what plants, vegetables and fruits can be grown on Long Island NY to provide a sustainable food source for a community in the event of food becoming scarce. Wha...
view the full question and answer

Information on medicinal plant uses by Dakota Indians
November 29, 2006 - I would like to know what the plants were that were used for medicinal purposes by the plains Indians in the Dakotas. Is there a place/site that I can go to to research the data?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.