Chickweed, Stellaria media
Mucilage, saponin glycosides, coumarins, flavonoids, carboxylic acids, triterpenoids, minerals (calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, silicon, zinc), vitamins (beta carotene, thiamin-B1, riboflavin-B2, niacin-B3, vitamin C)
astringent, antirheumatic, vulnerary, emollient
skin irritations, inflammation, eczema, itching, wounds, hemorrhoids, diaper rash, rheumatism
Chickweed is one of the first green plants to make its appearance in the early spring. Its delicate oval leaves and starlike 5-petal flowers are a welcome sight after the harsh winter has taken its toll. Chickweed can be found all over the United States, especially in moist soil. The chickweed at my house grows in the shaded areas near the house and barn, but it can be found in open, full-sun areas as well.
Chickweed is an edible plant that can be added to salads, blended into “green drinks”, or juiced. It can be dried, powdered, and added to smoothies as a super food ingredient!
Not only is chickweed exceptionally high in vitamins and minerals, but the saponins in chickweed increase the permeability of the mucous membrane causing our body to absorb more of the nutrients in the digestive tract!
There are generally two areas where chickweed shines: skin conditions and rheumatisms. What is interesting is that both of these conditions are sometimes compounded by winter weather and the Lord allowed the little chickweed to show up early in the spring to give relief to those who suffer from these conditions!
According to Austin herbalist Nicole Telkes, chickweed infused oil is the premiere medicine to skin irritations. Once the oil is infused, it can be used as-is, or made into a salve or lotion.
Fresh chickweed poultices are great for stings, wounds, and acute inflammations. Simply gather the fresh chickweed, crush in a mortar (or if you are in a hurry, just chew it up and slather it on), and place on the area.
To ease pain in the joints and connective tissue, chickweed can be made into an infusion and ingested several times a day. Drinking juiced chickweed would also provide internal support for rheumatic conditions.
Sufferers may also find relief in the form of a warm chickweed bath.
Like I said before, chickweed grows all over the United States during springtime. Distinguishing characteristics of chickweed are its opposite branching, soft oval-shaped leaves and the tiny white star-shaped flowers (hence the Latin name Stellaria). The flowers have 5 deep cleft petals making them look like there are 10 petals.
To gather chickweed, break off the entire stem with leaves and flowers.
Chickweed is a great herb for beginners because it is easy to find, harvest, and use. And everyone can benefit from its power house nutrients. So look for it this spring and let us know how it goes!