- Jewel Weed Touch Me Not Plant (Impatiens capensis) - is a typical, widespread plant that is a virtual panacea for skin irritation. The Jewel Weed 1/4 to 1/2" long leaves that are long-oval, long-stalked with rounded teeth.
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It is commonly mistaken for its cousin, the yellow Jewelweed. They are native to North America. The can be found throughout the majority of the United States of America. Although one might assume the name "jewelweed" comes from this plant's bright colorful orange flowers, this plant gets its name from its broad toothed leaves. The leaves are large enough that when it rains or when dew forms, the water droplets collect and pool on the surface of the leaves. These droplets reflect sunlight, making the leaves look like they are covered in sparkling jewels. These tender plants can grow between 0.5-2.5 meters (1.6-6.5 feet) high. The flowers can grow up to 9 centimeters wide (3.5 inches.) Their stems are thin, succulent, and translucent. This allows them to share garden space with other plants, without choking out the other plants growing around it. Jewelweed appreciates moist and shaded areas, and are very easy to grow along streams or marshes. Jewelweed annually blooms between June and October. During this time, the flowers attract butterflies and nectar drinking birds. The flower's trumpet-shaped petals and bright coloration make these plants ideal for attracting hummingbirds. They do not threaten any wildlife and are easy to control. This makes jewelweed plants an excellent choice for any environmentally conscious garden. Native Americans have historically used the juices made from crushing jewelweed plants as a remedy for poison ivy, stinging nettle, and insect bites. There is at least one peer review study that supports the use of jewelweed juice for soothing skin rashes and itching ailments. Crushing orange jewelweed flowers can also form an all natural yellow and orange dye.
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Instead, it is the plant's centuries-long use as an effective treatment for poison ivy and poison oak why people love growing it in their gardens so much.
Herbalists, botanists, and horticulturalists use Jewelweed on poison ivy and other severe skin rashes by cutting the stem and rubbing the juice onto the affected skin. Even clinical studies have proven its effectiveness.
Jewelweed is easy to take care of and will also attract honeybees and hummingbirds that arrive throughout the year to fertilize the plants.
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