Stellaria media –Chickweed

Chickweed likes to grow in dense, tangled mats low to the ground. It has pointed oval leaves that grow in pairs along the stem with fine hairs that will be present on only one side of the stem and star-shaped flowers. Stellaria comes from the word stellar, star-like pertaining to its tiny star flowers, a mild herb with significant nutritive qualities, once considered a delicacy in Europe. Soft pleasing, cool, moist, slightly sweet/salty, a feminine herb under the dominion of the moon, nourishing and replenishing, balances masculine and feminine principles.

Chickweed is a valuable herb, a mildly sweet, delicate wild green. A wonderful addition to any salad especially to balance, and smooth the bitter taste of some of the other edible greens. Due to its delicate nature, my preference is to use this herb fresh, you can dry it but will need to be used within a few months, as it’s one of those herbs that just don’t store well, and constituents quickly deteriorate.  

Chickweed is nutritionally high in vitamin C, vitamin A, D & B complex, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, selenium, and silica.

A cooling, herb used as an antipyretic and cools fevers and inner fires. Absorbent; aids absorption of fluids, an alterative, and a carminative. It’s nutritive, restorative, antiscorbutic; counteracts vitamin C deficiencies, a demulcent, emollient; softens and soothes, vulnerary; promotes scar-free healing of wounds, and pectoral; nourishes and strengthens the chest, and relieves lung disease.

Chickweed contains a viscous fiber noticeable by its demulcent, thick sticky property, which lowers bowel transit time, absorbs toxins from the bowel, and regulates colonic bacteria and yeast. It’s also a metabolic balancer by benefiting the thyroid and the ability to gently dissolve fats and neutralizing toxins helps with weight loss. The steroidal saponins, which are soap-like substances are rich in chickweed they emulsify fats and increase the permeability of all membranes, this increases the absorption of nutrients especially minerals from the digestive mucosa. Used to dissolve thickened lung and throat membranes, and to dissolve warts and abnormal growths, especially ovarian cysts.

Externally used as a poultice on its own or combined with mallow, linseed, and fenugreek, for drawing boils, blood congestion, ulcers, bruises, hemorrhoids, tight cramped muscles, and liver inflammation.

Herbalists have made good use of the cooling properties by making a soothing, cooling cream for skin irritations, such as eczema, nettle rash, inflamed eruptions, and a specific for itchy skin conditions.

An infusion of chickweed can be used as a wash for eye inflammation, and in bath soaks for arthritis, rheumatism, sore back, neck, and irritated varicose veins.

Tincture of chickweed has a long traditional use for obesity, aiding weight loss and as a digestive aid to regulate intestinal flora. A mild diuretic promotes urination and cleansing. For blood deficiency, anemia with fatigue, a nourishing tonic, prevent scurvy and strengthening food. Other traditional uses are for stomach and intestine, constipation, inordinate hunger, and thirst. Heart and lungs, palpitations, dry mouth, and throat. Due to chickweed expectorant action used in dry unproductive cough, whooping cough, and bronchitis.

Dosage: Generously eaten as a salad, herbal tea, and a very small amount as juice. Tincture 2 -4ml thrice daily. (BHP)

The information provided is for educational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. Consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine, particularly if you have a known medical condition, are on any medication, and if you are pregnant or nursing.