Jewelweed Salve

LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin
edited June 2021 in Herbal Medicine-Making

Yes, today is a day of discovery. I have often wondered what jewelweed was. I saw it today (but no poison ivy right in that spot, lol). I hope to go back & make a salve with what I harvest.

Does anyone else have experience using it or making a salve to use? Any tips? I hear fresh is best with this plant.


  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    No tips, @LaurieLovesLearning but it is handy to have some plants growing during poison ivy season.

    Some thoughts: Does it have other uses than for poison ivy itch? If that is all it's good for, I would just leave the plant and use it as needed. Unless, of course, you found it far away and have poison ivy nearby--in that case could you just transplant some near the poison ivy?

    Just some thoughts to save time; if you have the time, enjoy making the salve! :) (I'm always looking for ways to reduce work--like eating apples straight from the tree instead of making apple pie, etc.)

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,361 admin

    I use jewelweed a lot.. Tons of it grows all over my yard, some with yellow flowers and some orange. Young plants can also be eaten like asparagus. If you need seeds, let me know... they are a bit challenging to harvest, "touch me not" being the folk name. But, I can get you some.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 I read that the orange variety is better.

    There are some conditions people have where it is contradictated.

    It is endangered in Quebec.

    I read that tinctures should never be used internally nor externally. I guess the message here is don't make this into one in the first place! An oil, salve or fresh plant used externally is best.

    Thanks for the offer, Judson, but international border restrictions don't allow for any plant material to cross. I read about their popping pods & other name!

    @Annie Kate It is good for psoriasis, eczema, poison oak, poison ivy & sumac, rashes, bee stings & more.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,361 admin

    Oh, that is a shame! They certainly are no endangered here.... they grow so thick on the western side of my yard that they shade out the grass.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin
    edited August 2020

    @judsoncarroll4 Endangered in Quebec, not my province. I dont know if there are lots here or not. I just hadn't known what to look for before in poison ivy areas.

    Either way, plant materials aren't to cross borders unless inspected and accompanied by papers. I learned this long ago when crossing borders & learned more about specifics when working at a nursery.

    The reason is to try to keep invasive species & insects & fungal diseases out.

    I want to make a salve so that I am prepared should we be visiting any poison ivy areas, which is likely to happen. We've done it before and were just able to avoid the plants, fortunately.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,361 admin

    Gotcha. Well, if you can't find enough to make the salve, let me know and I'll make the salve and send that to you.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin

    Well, that's awfully generous. Thanks!

    I enjoy making these things, so hopefully I can get it all done here.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Reading the article, it talked about solar infusion but didn't give any particulars. I went out to see what the process for solar infusion was.

    With a south facing window, I can get double duty.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin
    edited September 2020

    I now have my jewelweed! 😁

    I added some pictures above and thought that I would add that I didn't take it all. It has the most beautiful spot at a spring where everyone can enjoy its delicate little orchid like blossoms.

    Bonus...I have seeds from what I picked & think that I found a suitable spot for them here.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    I am very grateful to TGN's forums and all of the questions asked here. It has certainly sent me on some remarkable research journeys. And this is another.

    Sometimes things can be staring you right in the face and you don't even realize it.

    So I discovered that Jewelweed is an Impatiens species. A few days ago I was offering someone seeds from my Himalayan Balsam which is shooting its seeds all over the place right now. They asked what species it was and I said an Impatiens of some sort. Then the light bulb went on!

    Off I went to do more research.

    Orange Jewelweed is Impatiens capensis. Yellow Jewelweed is Impatiens pallida. Himalayan Balsam is Impatiens glandulifera. These are just three of the approximately 850 species of Impatiens around the world, including some of the most common garden or basket varieties.

    Himalayan Balsam is an invasive species in many areas around the world where it may be known by a variety of names; Indian Balsam, Alaskan Balsam, Alaskan Orchid (not to be confused with an actual orchid species in Alaska), Policeman’s Helmets, Bobby Tops, Kiss Me on the Mountains, Touch-me-not, and also Jewelweed.

    Turns out that Himalayan Balsam is the Impatiens species used in Bach Flower Essences. Both as the Impatiens remedy and one of the 5 essences in Rescue Remedy. I found a homeopathic cream online that is for poison ivy rash and Impatiens glandulifera is one of the ingredients.

    So the usefulness for poison ivy seems to include all of these species, although the orange species seems to be the one most commonly used. I found a research article that credits the saponin content of Impatiens capensis with making it so useful for poison ivy. Perhaps the orange one has a higher level of saponin than the others. There needs to be a lot more research into the Impatiens species as there is not much out there. '

    Himalayan Balsam is edible as a green when young but it should be cooked. The seeds can also be eaten or included in baked goods. The cautions seem to arise from the high calcium oxalate content of the plant, which can aggravate conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, gout, kidney stones, etc.

    Poison Ivy is not common in my area and I have never had to treat someone for the rash but if it helps with bee stings and other rashes then maybe I should be making a salve. It will be an interesting experiment.

    And it has been in my backyard all this time!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin

    @torey I had noticed its latin name & thought that that was very interesting.

    What a happy discovery for you!

    What I had read when I went to look up more information about jewelweed, is that it was to be used fresh, not dried. Bummer. I dried mine, just like I had with the prickly lettuce. :(

    But, if it won't be so effective dried & then put in salve for poison ivy, I figured that it wouldn't hurt to put it in a basic itch salve. Maybe it can still be useful in that. I don't want to waste it.

    IF I find more at this point in time on another location, I will do it up right away. I read to infuse in oil on the stovetop if using fresh plants, in order to evaporate the excess moisture. I am sure that I read that somewhere before too...but now I read it (and will now retain it) as it was super relevant in the moment. Funny how that has to be sometimes.

    I usually dry plantain first as well. Maybe I should pick some fresh while I still have an opportunity, and do that. Maybe it will be better.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin

    I am re-reading this thread. I am on the ball this year. I have prickly lettuce tincture (currently ×3 stage) and have seen the jewelweed growing again at the spring. Possibly Thursday I can go get some and start to make an oil/salve.

    I think that I will have to put a reoccurring alert on my phone to remind me year to year when to actually look for certain plants so that they won't be forgotten. There's no time to begin like the present!

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have eaten jewelweed before with no side affects.

    You can save the seeds and eat them raw (nutty taste) or dry them and use as a substitute for seseame seeds in recipes

    I love this plants and it grow liek crazu around here - in three different colors.

    We call these popper plants around here. growing up we would wait for them to get ready and whn you touch the flower the seeds fly out. We coulld keep ourselves entertained for hours!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning As soon as my plants start shooting seeds I will send you some. I should have offered to do that last year.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin

    @torey That would be great! The place where I found some is very limited and so I am not comfortable harvesting much from there. I also am not sure that I want to go searching through the poison ivy for more!