Botanical Name: Impatiens noli-tangere
Species: I. noli-tangere
*Balsamina lutea Delarbre
*Balsamina noli-tangere (L.) Scop.
*Impatiens komarovii Pobed.
*Impatiens lutea Lam. nom. illeg.
Common Names: Touch-me-not, Touch-me-not balsam
Habitat:Touch-me-not balsam or Touch me not is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia to France, east to Macedonia and temperate Asia.
It grows on side of streams, wet ground in woods in N. Wales, the Lake District, Yorkshire and Lancashire.
Impatiens noli-tangere is an annual plant growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is in flower from July to September,color of the frower is yellow. The fruit is a capsul and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist well-drained humus rich soil in a cool site. Self sows in areas where the minimum temperature is no lower than -15°c. This plant has seed capsules that spring open forcibly as the seed ripens to eject the seed a considerable distance. The capsules are sensitive to touch even before the seed is ripe, making seed collection difficult but fun.
Young shoots – cooked and eaten. (See the notes above on toxicity below). Seed are eaten raw. A delicious nutty flavour but rather difficult to harvest, mainly because of their exploding seed capsules which scatter the ripe seed at the slightest touch.
The plant is antiseptic, diuretic, strongly emetic, laxative and vulnerary. It has been used in the treatment of stranguary and haemorrhoids. The plant is occasionally used internally in the treatment of haemorrhoids and as a laxative and diuretic, but the dose must be carefully adhered to since large quantities are strongly emetic. The plant is harvested at any time in the summer.
Known Hazards: Regular ingestion of large quantities of these plants can be dangerous due to their high mineral content. This report, which seems nonsensical, might refer to calcium oxalate. This mineral is found in I. capensis and so is probably also in other members of the genus. It can be harmful raw but is destroyed by thoroughly cooking or drying the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.