Jewelweed (Impatiens biflora, Impatiens pallida)
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
Balsaminaceae (family), calcium oxalate, common jewelweed, Impatiens biflora, Impatiens pallida, pale jewelweed, pale touch-me-not, touch-me-not.
Jewelweed is a flowering plant from North America that can be found in roadside ditches and marshy areas.
Jewelweed has been used for the treatment of poison ivy/oak. However, human studies do not support this use.
There is currently not enough scientific evidence available in humans to support the use of jewelweed for any indication.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Contact dermatitis (Poison ivy/oak skin rash)
Although jewelweed has been used for centuries as a treatment for poison ivy/oak rashes, human study shows that it is no better than placebo.
*Key to grades:A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Bee stings, burns, constipation, diuretic (increase urine flow), fevers, fungal skin disorders, hair dye, hemorrhoids, jaundice, measles, nettle rash, rheumatism, stomach cramps, warts (removal).
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (over 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for jewelweed in adults.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for jewelweed in children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid in people with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to jewelweed (Impatiens biflora) or its constituents.
Side Effects and Warnings
Jewelweed has been used as a food source as well as medicinally to treat a variety of ailments. However, due to a potential high mineral content, it is considered dangerous when consumed in excess amounts.
Use cautiously if taking calcium supplements or if prone to kidney stones, as jewelweed may have high calcium oxalate content.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Jewelweed is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence. Jewelweed should be avoided due to reports of high mineral content, like calcium oxalate.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Not enough available scientific evidence.
Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements
Jewelweed may have high calcium oxalate content.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Guin JD, Reynolds R. Jewelweed treatment of poison ivy dermatitis. Contact Dermatitis 1980;6(4):287-288. View Abstract
Long D, Ballentine NH, Marks JG Jr. Treatment of poison ivy/oak allergic contact dermatitis with an extract of jewelweed. Am J Contact Dermat. 1997;8(3):150-153. View Abstract
Zink BJ, Otten EJ, Rosentha M, et al. The effect of jewel week in preventing poison ivy. J Wilderness Medicine 1991;2:178-182.
Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.
March 22, 2017