EDIBLE MOUNTAIN - Jewelweed aka Spotted Touch Me Not
If you find the spotted yellow and orange-blooming jewelweed while out hiking next to a river, grab a sprig and submerge in water. You’ll find out why it’s called jewelweed. Its seed pods also explode when poked—which is always fun and why it’s sometimes called Spotted touch-me-not (and why its
botanical name is Impatiens capensis). The tiny propelled pellets taste like walnuts if you can gather enough to taste. They’re the only raw-edible part of the plant. But certainly not the only perk jewelweed packs. Jewelweed is always found growing near its famous stinging nemesis: nettle. Crushed stock of jewelweed is the magic antidote to burning sensations that come with surprise encounters with stinging nettle. Indigenous Americans were also known to use the same remedy to relieve the itch from oozing poison ivy blisters. Just to be clear, jewelweed will not cure a poison ivy rash. Some studies have found that rubbing Jewelweed juices on freshly ivy-exposed areas will prevent blisters... but soap and water probably work better.
Edible Mountain is a bite-sized, digital series from WVPB that showcases some of Appalachia’s overlooked and underappreciated products of the forest while highlighting their mostly forgotten uses.