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

Negative and positive effects of invasive dandelions from Rama Ontario
January 12, 2012 - How do Dandelions have a negative impact of being a invasive and a Positive impact of being a invasive species ?
view the full question and answer

Food and medicinal value of Parsley Hawthorn
March 01, 2013 - I have found several sites that talk about how the parsley hawthorn is edible and how the hawthorn berry in general is really great for the heart, but I did not find any mention of this on your info a...
view the full question and answer

Tilo (Justicia pectoralis), a tropical American plant
December 03, 2008 - Re: keelo plant (Seminole, Fl. herb used to treat stomachache-St. Pete), try Tilo: Justicia pectoralis
view the full question and answer

Identifying a plant similar to sarsaparilla
September 04, 2011 - I am trying to identify a plant that looks very similar to sasparilla, but has a ring of blue berries at the end of a long stalk, and the plant itself is spreading, not an isolated herb like sasparill...
view the full question and answer

Different colors of Argemone spp. from McAllen TX
March 16, 2014 - I took pictures of at least 5 colors of pricklepoppy today. Is this common to have so many colors in one area? How do I harvest the seedpods and when is the best time to do so?
view the full question and answer

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