Herb of the Month – Chickweed - Stellaria media

Chickweed – Stellaria media

One of the first plants to peek out from under the snow in spring, this sweet little herb makes a great ground cover for cool, moist, shady places.

Chickweed leaves and flowers are a tasty edible plant, full of B complex vitamins, calcium, and vitamins A and C. It is a demulcent herb, great for soothing both internal and external inflammation. It has been used as a blood cleanser, a remedy for rheumatism, skin disorders, sore throats, stomach ulcers, and as a poultice to draw out fluid from abscesses and boils.

I find it is very soothing to the eyes and when my girls were growing up and would come down with pink eye, I would crush some fresh chickweed with water, smear the paste on a piece of cheesecloth, and apply it to their eyelids. It worked every time to draw out the infection. I use it whenever my eyes are irritated from too much time on the computer or exposure to sun and wind. If you don’t have chickweed, cucumber slices, grated raw potato, and moistened green tea bags also soothe irritated eyes.

A great wild edible, I use chickweed in salads, eggs, pestos, casseroles, and smoothies. It is best used fresh and used like spinach, a cool weather plant it dies back in hot weather.

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