Herb of the Month – Chickweed - Stellaria media

Chickweed – Stellaria media

With all the moisture we’ve had recently the chickweed is abundant this year. Chickweed is a high-nutrient, edible weed that is one of the first plants to appear in the spring. It likes a cool, moist environment and is gone once the hot weather arrives.

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.

Medicinally chickweed is a soothing skin herb that you can add to oils and salves. I have also used it mashed with some water into a paste to relieve pink eye. Put the fresh herb paste wrapped in cheesecloth over the afflicted eye. Let sit for 5-7 minutes to draw out the inflammation. 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, make 100 % sure you have identified it correctly and don’t collect from a contaminated or sprayed area. I use chickweed in salads, eggs, pestos, casseroles, soup, and smoothies. I prefer to use it fresh. It is best used fresh and used like spinach, a cool weather plant it dies back in hot weather. Chickens also enjoy chickweed, thus the name.

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