Herb latin name: Impatiens occidentalis
Family: Balsaminaceae (Touch-me-not Family)
Medicinal use of Impatiens occidentalis:Antidote, parasiticide. Used in the treatment of warts, ringworm, nettle stings, poison ivy rash etc.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Moist woods.
Edible parts of Impatiens occidentalis:Young shoots - cooked in one change of water. See the notes above on toxicity. Seed - raw or cooked. They are tedious to collect in quantity, mainly because of their exploding seed capsules which scatter the ripe seed at the slightest touch.
Other uses of the herb:A yellow dye is obtained from the plant. No more details are given. Used as a hair rinse for itchy scalps. No more details are given. A fungicide is obtained from the plant. No more details are given, but it is likely to be the juice of the plant that is used.
Propagation of Impatiens occidentalis: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.
Cultivation of the herb:Moist woods.
Known hazards of Impatiens occidentalis: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.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.