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There are about 25 species of Chickweed, including some native varieties that grow abundantly in the wild in North America. The one that is used most is Stellaria media, which is native to Europe and is a member of the Caryophyllaceae or carnation, family. The genus name Stellaria refers to Chickweed’s identifiable many small oval leaves and tiny, white, star-shaped flowers. Chickweed is a persistent annual. It self-seeds and may produce as many as five generations within one season.
The common name refers to the herb’s appeal to birds and barnyard fowl, particularly young chickens. Other common names include Indian Chickweed, Stitchwort, Starwort, White Bird’s Eye, Chick Wittles, Satin Flower, Adder’s Mouth, Mouse Ear, Starweed, Passerina, Tongue Grass, and Winter Weed.
Chickweed has been used for centuries, and has a long history as a nutritious edible green by both humans and animals. Traditionally prepared as an early spring tonic, eaten fresh or steamed, to cleanse the kidneys and liver. The ancient Greeks even wrote about using Chickweed.
Chickweed’s use in folk medicine has been recorded as far back as the 16th century when it was often used to treat wounds. According to the 17th century herbalist Culpeper, Chickweed is under the dominion of the moon, and is therefore associated with feminine energy, love and fertility. Due to its presumed ability to attract the perfect mate it was a common ingredient in love potions.
As a medicinal, Culpeper prescribed it to be taken internally it as a remedy for “inward bruising” and as a cooling diuretic. Over time, it was embraced as a “blood cleanser” and used to treat asthma, constipation, menstrual pain, peptic ulcers, rabies, respiratory illnesses and scurvy, among other common and uncommon conditions.
Chickweed taste very ‘grassy ‘and it is quite sweet and moist with a very gentle bitterness. The energetics of Chickweed are cooling, moistening, stagnation moving and astringent or drawing. Chickweed has an affinity towards the kidneys, lymphatic system, blood, musculoskeletal system, digestive system, respiratory system and circulatory system.
Combine with Calendula, Chamomile or Plantain Leaf to make a healing salve or oil to cool any inflamed skin conditions. Combine with Cleavers, Red Clover or Blue Flag to support blood cleansing and lymphatic system.
How to use:
1 teaspoon of Chickweed to one cup of boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain and drink up to three cups a day.
Chickweed is commonly used topically as an infused oil, salve or poultice.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your health care provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.