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Herbs & Plants

Jewelweed ( Impatiens )

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Botanical Name: Impatiens aurea (MUHL.), Impatiens biflora (WALT.)
Family: Balsaminaceae
Genus: Impatiens
Kingdom: Planta
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Wild Balsam. Balsam-weed. Impatiens pallida. Pale-touch-me-not. Spottedtouch-me-not. Slipperweed. Silverweed. Wild Lady’s Slipper. Speckled Jewels. Wild Celandine. Quick-in-the-hand.

Common Names: Impatiens, Jewelweed, Touch-me-not, Snapweed

Part Used: Herb.
Habitat: Members of the genus Impatiens are found widely distributed in the north temperate zone and in South Africa, but the majority are natives of the mountains of tropical Asia and Africa. It grows in lowlying, damp, rather rich soil, beside streams and in similar damp localities.
Description:
Some species are annual plants and produce flowers from early summer until the first frost, while perennial species, found in milder climates, can flower all year. Regardless of their lifespan, the largest impatiens grow up to about 2 meters (about 7 feet) tall, but most are less than half as tall. The stems somewhat translucent, the foliage showing a brilliant silvery surface when immersed in water, which will not adhere to the surface. The leaves are entire and shiny; their upperside has a thick, water-repellent cuticula that gives them a greasy feel. Particularly on the underside of the leaves, tiny air bubbles are trapped over and under the leaf surface, giving them a silvery sheen that becomes pronounced when they are held under water.They are thin, ovate oval, more or less toothed, of a tender green colour.

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The flowers, up to 2–3 cm, around 1 inch long, in most species are made up by a shoe- or horn-shaped spur for the most part, with at least the upper petals insignificant by comparison; some have a prominent labellum though, allowing pollinators to land. Others, like the busy lizzie (I. walleriana), have flattened flowers with large petals and just a tiny spur that appear somewhat similar to those of violets (Viola), an unrelated genus. A few Impatiens species have flowers intermediate between the two basic types.The oblong capsules of both species when ripe explode under the slightest disturbance, scattering the seeds widely. Most of the popular names refer to this peculiarity, others to the shape of the flowers.

The slipper-shaped, yellow flowers, in bloom from July to September, have long recurved tails, those of the first-named species being of a uniform pale-yellow, those of the second species, orange-yellow, crowded with dark spots, hence its common name of Spotted-touch-me-not.

Constituents: Impatiens contain 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone, an anti-inflammatory and fungicide naphthoquinone that is an active ingredient in some formulations of Preparation H.
Medicinal Uses:
North American impatiens have been used as herbal remedies for the treatment of bee stings, insect bites, and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) rashes. They are also used after poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) contact to prevent a rash from developing. The efficacy of orange jewelweed (I. capensis) and yellow jewelweed (I. pallida) in preventing poison ivy contact dermatitis has been studied, with conflicting results. A study in 1958 found that Impatiens biflora was an effective alternative to standard treatment for dermatitis caused by contact with sumac, while later studies found that the species had no antipruritic effects after the rash has developed. Researchers reviewing these contradictions state that potential reason for these conflicts include the method of preparation and timing of application. A 2012 study found that while an extract of orange jewelweed and garden jewelweed (I. balsamina) was not effective in reducing contact dermatitis, a mash of the plants applied topically decreased it.

Impatiens glandulifera is one of the Bach flower remedies, flower extracts used as herbal remedies for physical and emotional problems. It is included in the “Rescue Remedy” or “Five Flower Remedy”, a potion touted as a treatment for acute anxiety and which is supposed to be protective in stressful situations. Studies have found no difference between the effect of the potion and that of a placebo.

All Impatiens taste bitter and seem to be slightly toxic upon ingestion, causing intestinal ailments like vomiting and diarrhea. The toxic compounds have not been identified but are probably the same as those responsible for the bitter taste, likely might be glycosides or alkaloids.

?-Parinaric acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid discovered in the seeds of the makita tree (Atuna racemosa racemosa), is together with linolenic acid the predominant component of the seed fat of garden jewelweed (I. balsamina), and perhaps other species of Impatiens. This is interesting from a phylogenetic perspective, because the makita tree is a member of the Chrysobalanaceae in a lineage of eudicots entirely distinct from the balsams.

Certain jewelweeds, including the garden jewelweed contain the naphthoquinone lawsone, a dye that is also found in henna (Lawsonia inermis) and is also the hair coloring and skin coloring agent in mehndi. In ancient China, Impatiens petals mashed with rose and orchid petals and alum were used as nail polish: leaving the mixture on the nails for some hours colored them pink or reddish.

Impatiens has been listed as one of the 38 plants that are used to prepare Bach flower remedies, a kind of alternative medicine promoted for its effect on health. However according to Cancer Research UK, “there is no scientific evidence to prove that flower remedies can control, cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer”

Other Uses:  A yellow dye has been made from the flowers.

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

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impatiens
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/j/jewelw08.html

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Herbs & Plants

Impatiens capensis

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Botanical Name :Impatiens capensis
Family: Balsaminaceae
Genus: Impatiens
Species: I. capensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Impatiens biflora – Walter, Impatiens fulva – Nutt

Common Names: Orange Jewelweed, Common Jewelweed, Spotted Jewelweed, Spotted Touch-me-not, or Orange Balsam  Jewelweed, Wild Balsam. Balsam-weed. Impatiens, Spotted Touch-me-not, Lady’s Eardrops, Lady’s Slipper.

Habitat :Impatiens capensis is native to  N. America – Newfoundland to Saskatchewan. Naturalized in Britain.
It grows  along the banks of rivers and canals, also in low-lying moist woodlands, avoiding acid soils.

Description:
Impatiens capensis is an Annual plant  growing to 1.2m at a fast rate.It is hardy to zone 2. It is in flower from July to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
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The flowers are orange with a three-lobed corolla; one of the calyx lobes is colored similarly to the corolla and forms a hooked conical spur at the back of the flower. Plants may also produce non-showy cleistogamous flowers, which do not require cross-pollination. The stems are somewhat translucent, succulent, and have swollen or darkened nodes. The seed pods are pendant and have projectile seeds that explode out of the pods when they are lightly touched, if ripe, which is where the name ‘touch-me-not’ comes from. The leaves appear to be silver or ‘jeweled’ when held underwater, which is possibly where the jewelweed name comes from. .

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist well-drained humus rich soil in a cool shady site. Plants self-sow in areas where minimum winter temperatures go 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.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

 

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed; Stem.

The succulent stems, whilst still young and tender, can be cut up and cooked like green beans. Young leaves and shoots – cooked. They contain calcium oxalate crystals. Calcium oxalate is usually destroyed by thorough cooking. Large quantities of the leaves are purgative. See also the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:

Antidote; Poultice; Stings; Warts.
The juice from the broken stem is a well-known folk remedy for poison ivy rash. It also works on poison oak. Can be frozen into small ice cubes and used. Also relieves the pain of insect bites, nettle stings, burns, sprains, ringworm and various skin diseases. The juice is also made into an ointment for hemorrhoids, warts and corns. It used to be taken for jaundice and asthma.

Jewelweed was commonly used as a medicinal herb by a number of native North American Indian tribes, and has been widely used in domestic medicine.Along with other species of jewelweed it is a traditional remedy for skin rashes, although controlled studies have not shown efficacy for this purpose  Its main value lies in its external application for wounds and a range of skin complaints. However, it is little used in modern herbalism and is considered to be dangerous and ‘wholly questionable’ when used internally. The herb is antidote, cathartic, diuretic and emetic. An infusion has been used in the treatment of fevers, difficult urination, measles, stomach cramps, jaundice etc. The juice of the leaves is used externally in the treatment of piles, fungal dermatitis, nettle stings, poison ivy rash, burns etc. The sap is used to remove warts. A poultice of the leaves is applied to bruises, burns, cuts etc.

Herbal Baths are a great way to treat widespread rashes, and heat rashes in those hard to reach places that flare up in summer time. A soothing bath of chamomile and oatmeal is a luxurious way to start the healing process. A simple home remedy that most everyone has on hand is baking soda and vinegar. Just add about 2 cups of vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda to a tepid bath to and relax away the hurt. This simple bath also works well on sunburns. Baths with  tea bags of full of green or black tea will help dry the rashes and stop itching, all for pennies an a bath. For an especially bad rash you may want to use comfrey leaf in your bath or as a skin wash.

Other Uses:

Dye; Fungicide.

The fresh juice obtained from the plant is a fungicide. This juice can be concentrated by boiling it. A yellow dye has been made from the flowers. It can be made from the whole plant.

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 supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Impatiens+capensis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impatiens_capensis
http://www.anniesremedy.com/chart_remedy.php?tag=rashes

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Impatiens balsamina

Botanical Name :Impatiens balsamina (Dopati)
Family: Balsaminaceae
Genus: Impatiens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales
Species: I. balsamina

Common Name: Garden balsam,Rose Balsam .It is called kamantigue in the Philippines.In Bengal it is called Dopati

Habitat : Native to India, southeast Asia and Myanmar.Waste places in and around villages.

Description:
It is an annual plant growing to 20–75 cm tall, with a thick, but soft stem. The leaves are spirally-arranged, 2.5–9 cm long and 1–2.5 cm broad, with a deeply toothed margin. The flowers are red, pink, purple, or white, and 2.5–5 cm diameter; they are pollinated by bees and other insects, and also by nectar-feeding birds.
It is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Height: 0.5 to 2.5 feet
Spread: 0.5 to 1.5 feet
Bloom Time: May – To frost
Bloom Color: Pink, rose, red, purple, white and bicolor.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist well-drained humus rich soil in a cool site. Another report says that this species requires warm, moist conditions. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade. Plants are not frost hardy, but can be grown outdoors in Britain by sowing the seed in a greenhouse and planting out after the last expected frosts. A polymorphic species, there are several named forms selected for their ornamental value[200]. 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.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.

Leaves and young shoots – cooked. Seed – raw or cooked. They are difficult to collect in quantity, mainly because of their exploding seed capsules which scatter the ripe seed at the slightest touch.

Medicinal Uses
Antibiotic;  Cancer;  Cathartic;  Diuretic;  EmeticExpectorant;  Poultice;  Tonic;  Warts.

The plant is cathartic, diuretic and emetic. It is used in the treatment of pains in the joints. The leaf juice is used as a treatment against warts. The flowers are cooling, mucilaginous and tonic. They are useful when applied to burns and scalds. The juice of the flowers is used to treat snakebites. The flowers, and their alcoholic extract, possess marked antibiotic activity against some pathogenic fungi and bacteria. The seed is expectorant and has been used in the treatment of cancer. The powdered seeds are given to women during labour in order to provide strength.

Different parts of the plant are used to treat disease and skin afflctions; the leaves, seeds, and stems are also edible if cooked. Juice from balsam leaves treats warts and also snakebite, while the flower can be applied to burns to cool the skin.

Other Uses
Dye;  Oil.

A dye is obtained from the flowers and leaves. The prepared juice has been used for dyeing finger and toenails red. The seed contains 27% of a viscous oil, though the report does not mention if this oil is utilised for any purpose.Many times it is grown in garden for beautification.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Impatiens balsamina
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impatiens_balsamina
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week337.shtml
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Plant.asp?code=A585

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