Is Jewelweed Edible?

Jewelweed (Impatiens spp.) Is a tenacious annual that grows in swampy and shady areas. While jewelweed is edible, you need to cook most components of it to eliminate the potentially harmful compounds it includes before consuming it.

How to Eat Jewelweed

Jewelweed produces seed pods that harmlessly burst when touched, sending the seeds flying through the atmosphere, which explains why it is also known as the touch-me-not plant. You can safely eat these small seedsthat taste similar to walnuts. You may also eat the colorful flowersthat come in colors of yellow and orange, raw in salads or cooked in a stir fry. To eat the stems and leaves of this plant, harvest them when they’re still young in the spring and then boil them before eating them. You’ll need to boil the stems and leaves to get 10 to 20 minutes; alter the water about them at least twice during the procedure, recommends the Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society. Boiling helps to eliminate the high levels of calcium oxalates and selenium these parts of the plant contain.

Everything in Moderation

Do not eat great deal of jewelweed, even when cooked, since it can have a laxative effect. People susceptible to creating calcium oxalate kidney stones should avoid eating plants high in oxalates such as jewelweed, even when cooked, recommends the Cleveland Clinic site.

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