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The antidote plant to poison ivy, rashes, itching and fungal dermatitis. Apply to skin the raw juice or concentrated boiled juice of crushed stems. (leaves and flowers work too). You can also pour the boiled goo into ice cube trays and keep in freezer for a year. Whenever you have a skin rash, rub a cube on the irritation to experience healing. They grow near poison ivy, so you can just cut a jewelweed stem and rub the juice on the rash if you get a rash, or chew the leaves and flower a bit and smear it on. Yes you can eat them too. It tastes like butternut and can be used as a topping for deserts. There are no poisonous lookalikes. Flowers are yellow orange with a loop in the bottom and red or white spots in the open end which sometimes droops downwards. Antihistamine, anti-inflammatory. Also used for eczema, insect bites, ringworm, and other skin issues. There is a pink Jewelweed version called HIMALAYAN BALSAM (Impatiens glandulifera) that is also edible, but has higher oxalate levels. Seed pods burst open with a pop at the slightest touch- quite amusing toy. Young shoots and seeds most edible parts.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz