Jewelweed, a 3 to 5 feet tall plant, is native to North America. Used for centuries by the Native Americans, they swear by its high medicinal value. The stem and the leaves of the plant are primarily used for treating ailments. There are different species of jewelweed, and the one used for its medicinal value is the spotted jewelweed. Also referred to as orange jewelweed, the plant has been commonly used to treat skin problems.
Did You Know?The leaves of the jewelweed are resistant to water. As a result, the water falling on the leaves takes the shape of tiny spheres that appear like shimmering jewels, hence the name.
Antidote for Poison Ivy
People who are allergic to urushiol―a chemical in poison ivy plant―develop an itchy rash when they accidentally touch the plant. This allergic rash can easily go away by applying the juice obtained from the stem of jewelweed, which is considered a traditional remedy by herbalists. For usage, take the stem of the plant and slice it. You will observe a water-like liquid leaking from the stem. Rub this juicy part of the stem on the area showing the rash. If you apply the juice immediately after the rash appears, just one application is enough to clear the rash. However, in case it is used a few days after the rash occurs, one has to repeatedly rub the juice daily for 3 to 4 days.
Jewelweed extracts, such as juice and tincture, are known for their skin soothing properties and may also help to treat rash associated with exposure to poison oak.
Cryotherapy―the conventional treatment for warts―often resolves the issue temporarily as warts tend to regrow. On the other hand, jewelweed provides a natural way to permanently get rid of warts. Apply the juice or the tincture on the affected area, and then cover it with BAND-AID. Apply these jewelweed extracts daily, and you will soon notice your skin free from warts.
Jewelweed extracts, such as tincture and ointment, may also help treat hemorrhoids and muscle injuries such as sprains. The leaves of jewelweed contain two 1-methoxy, four naphthoquinine―an anti-inflammatory ingredient that is also found in Preparation H, an ointment commonly recommended for hemorrhoids. Similarly, poultices and salves made from jewelweed plant are used for the same purpose as tincture and juice of jewelweed.
Relieves Insect Bites
The annoyance of insect bites can also be easily managed by applying the jewelweed juice to the affected area. Be it a mosquito bite, wasp or a bee sting, its application is sure to provide relief to the affected area. The jewelweed juice can also be used to relieve pain associated with bruises, minor burns, and cuts.
Cures Fungal Skin Infections
Jewelweed, particularly the stem of the plant, reportedly demonstrates antifungal activity. So, external application of the juice of the stem may help treat fungal skin infections such as athlete's foot and ringworm. The juice known for its antipruritic properties, can also help treat itchy skin problems such as eczema.
The plant was used by the Native Americans to treat digestion problems. Drinking tea made from whole jewelweed plant is said to relieve stomach cramps. However, experts warn against drinking the tea as the taste is repulsive and can induce vomiting. Also, jewelweed contains very high amount of selenium. Hence, internal use of jewelweed can increase the risk of selenium toxicity.
Jewelweed seeds are found to be edible, and their taste is a combination of hemp seeds and pine nuts. However, some say they are walnut-flavored, and moreover, are good sources of omega-3s and omega-6s. These seeds are small and encased in a seed pod. A ripe seed pod when delicately touched, springs apart and flings the seeds up to 6 feet in all directions. So place a small bag around the seed pod, which will allow you to catch these nutritious seeds when it pops open.
Jewelweed extracts have also been taken orally for the treatment of jaundice, chest cold, bronchitis and asthma. However, it is best to use this plant externally as it is found to be safe and free from any side effects.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.