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CHICKWEED




Chickweed


Botanical Name

Stellaria media, S. holostea, Stellaria spp.

Common Name

Chickweed, stitchwort, star weed, starwort, tongue grass, adder’s mouth

Family

Caryophyllaceae

Parts Used

Aerial parts; root used in Chinese medicine

Native To

Europe and Asia

Harvesting Guidelines

Chickweed, a versatile plant that can be grown annually or perennially, thrives in moist soil with plenty of nutrients and partial to full shade. It is commonly found along the borders of shaded gardens, in forested areas under tree cover, and in well-fertilized lawns. During World War II, Americans were encouraged to cultivate chickweed in their victory gardens due to its high nutritional value, ease of growth, and ability to self-sow and withstand colder weather. This resilient plant often emerges as one of the first greens of spring and one of the last greens of fall.

 

Chickweed is a highly nutritious herb that can have a significant positive impact on our health with minimal effort. This wild and weedy green is best consumed fresh, either by eating it directly or preparing it as a tincture. It is an excellent tonic for the body, especially after the nutrient deficiencies of winter. Many herbalists believe that incorporating nourishing and tonifying herbs like chickweed into our diets can help alleviate chronic conditions. Chickweed can be easily added to salads, soups, stews, or cooked as a green. Herbal vinegars are also a great way to extract the nutritive qualities of chickweed and enjoy it year-round.


Chickweed, a nutritious and versatile plant, is a common sight in gardens and wild areas during the early spring. It is known for its ability to help us rejuvenate and prepare for the upcoming summer season. As the weather heats up, chickweed tends to disappear, only to reemerge with renewed vigor once the temperatures cool down in the fall. This resilient plant can be found growing in a variety of environments, from the forests of Michigan to the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, and many places in between.


Chickweed is a versatile herb that is believed to have a positive impact on the body's water balance. It is known to clear lymphatic congestion and promote the elimination of excess water through the kidneys. This herb is also used to support kidney function and maintain a healthy water balance throughout the body. Chickweed is an all-around beneficial herb that supports the liver, lymphatics, endocrine system, kidneys, skin, intestines, and lungs. It helps to eliminate toxins and other harmful substances from the body by promoting healthy organ function and efficient elimination.(1)


Chickweed, a common herb in folk medicine, has been used for weight loss for generations. The exact reason for its effectiveness is not fully understood, but there are several theories. Some believe that the high fiber content in chickweed helps with weight loss, while others suggest that the saponins in the herb disperse fatty deposits. Additionally, some believe that chickweed may slow the absorption of fats and carbohydrates in the body by inhibiting digestive enzymes. Despite the lack of scientific studies, herbalists continue to use chickweed for its weight loss properties with success.


Chickweed, a common herb, has been used by herbalist Katrina Blair for its ability to remove congestion and infection from the body. ). This is due to the saponins found in chickweed, which help dissolve excess mucus, bacteria, undigested proteins, and fat cells in the body. Additionally, chickweed aids in assimilation and elimination of cysts and lumps.(2)


Chickweed is a herb that is known for its lubricating properties. It is rich in moisture and has demulcent and emollient actions, which help to soothe and moisturize dry and irritated areas of the body, both internally in the joints and externally on the skin. It is often used to cool, moisten, and soothe inflammation and irritation throughout the body. Regular consumption of chickweed has been reported to reduce arthritis and rheumatic pain, likely due to its lubricating qualities. The Iroquois have traditionally used chickweed poultices to reduce swelling associated with rheumatism.(3)



 

Adult Dose (4) (5)


Food: 1-3 cups a day fresh, cooked, or pickled.

Infusion: 6-12 fl oz (made with 1 oz dried herb in 1 quart water) up to 3x/day

Tea: 8 fl oz (1 tsp dried herb in 1 cup water) 3x/day (

Tincture: 2-5 mL fresh herb (1:2, 95%) or dried herb (1:5, 50%)

Salve or oil: Topical use as needed daily and persistently for skin problems; effects may take up to 6 months

Succus: 3-6 mL daily

Decoction: 3-9 g/day yin chai hu (Stellaria dichotoma) root


Safety


While chickweed is generally safe for consumption, some individuals may have an allergic reaction to the herb. In rare cases, contact dermatitis has been reported. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can safely consume chickweed in food doses. However, consuming large amounts of seeds may cause digestive issues such as diarrhea. It is important to consume chickweed in moderation.


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References:


(1)Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

(2)Blair, K. (2014). The Wild Wisdom of Weeds. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green.

(3)Moerman, D. (1998). Native American Ethnobotany. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

(4) Easley, T., & Horne, S. (2016). The modern herbal dispensatory: A medicine-making guide. North Atlantic Books.

(5)Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.


 

Scientific Research:





Information offered on Achula and on this page is for educational purposes only. Achula makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Women who are pregnant or nursing, and persons with known medical conditions, should consult their licensed healthcare provider before taking any herbal product. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. Achula neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.



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