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Herbalist's Essentials

A Glossary of Essential Terms used in Herbalism & Natural Medicine

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Impatiens noli-tangere

Impatiens

Impatiens or jewelweed refers to the genus of almost 1000 flowering plants of the Balsaminaceae family. Other common names include balsam (mostly in reference to the tropical impatiens species) and touch-me-not (European and North American impatiens). The term 'balsam' is sometimes also used in reference to a completely different plant species.

Impatiens

Jewelweed is traditionally used as an antipruritic, a topical remedy for poison ivy, stinging nettle, bee stings or insect bites. Tinctures are said to be considerably less effective than fresh jewelweed juice. According to an old folk saying jewelweeds grow wherever poison ivy grows, and this saying has contributed to jewelweed's lore, however it is rather the other way around. Poison ivy grows in various habitats, while jewelweed is more restricted in that sense. But, it should be noted that wherever jewelweed grows, one does find poison ivy nearby.

Folk remedy Folk remedy
As an antipruritic: Crush the stem of the jewelweed and rub the liquid onto the affected area.

Toxicity

The bitter impatiens should not be ingested as it is slightly toxic and can cause diarrhea or vomiting.

Insomnia

Insomnia is characterized by difficulties of falling asleep or staying asleep. It can be a symptom of another ailment, disorder, or problem (e.g. stress, tension, external noise), or can occur due to medications or stimulants (herbs, caffeine, etc.). It is more common among women than men.

Magnesium deficiency is one of the possible causes of insomnia. Improving one's diet to include a sufficient amount of magnesium is advisable and can only benefit the general wellbeing.
Natural food sources of magnesium: spinach, Halibut, wheat bran, nuts (cashews, almonds), seeds (pumpkin seeds), soybeans, artichoke.

Folk remedy Folk remedy
Valerian, lavender, lemon balm, verbena, motherwort

Itching

See antipruritic


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