The North American jewelweeds are often used as a home remedy to treat bee stings, insect bites, and particularly Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) and Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) rashes, but there has not been controlled research to support this application.
An oft-repeated folk saying, "Wherever poison ivy is found, jewelweed grows close by", is not true. Poison ivy grows in a wide variety of habitats, while jewelweeds are restricted to moist bottomlands and valleys with rich soil. The reverse is often true on the other hand: wherever jewelweed is found, poison ivy is usually close by.
The Orange and the Yellow Jewelweed (I. pallida) have been subject to various scientific studies as regards their alleged effect against Poison Ivy contact dermatitis. Save for one study conducted in the 1950s, no significant and lasting antipruritic effect was found compared to other commonly-used treatments.
Dainty enough to grace a lady's ear,
Thousands of blossoms swaying to and fro
In the light wind, and countless butterflies
In the bright sunshine softly come and go
On honey bent. The flowers are orange-hued,
And orange-hued the feasters on their sweets.
So like the two that pretty doubts-intrude
Anent this wonder that my vision greets.
For half I deem the flowers are butterflies
That on the flowerless stalks have come to stay,
And half, or more, that the bright butterflies
Are blossoms that the wind has blown away.
"Impatiens." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 5 Aug 2009, 14:47 UTC. 5 Aug 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Impatiens&oldid=306215645>.
Chadwick, John White. Later Poems. Boston, New York, 1905. 140. Web. Google Book Search. 18 Aug 2009.