Chickweed: Benefits and Uses

Chickweed: Benefits and Uses

Common chickweed, also known as Stellaria Media, is a small delicate plant that is often overlooked as a weed. But this little plant is actually edible and has been eaten by cultures for many generations.  Let’s talk about “Chickweed: Benefits and Uses”. 

Chickweed is a common weed that is often considered a nuisance.  Actually, most of my research on the internet about it turned up articles about how to kill it, rather than articles about how to forage for and consume it!

What a shame.

basket of chickweed

Chickweed Benefits

Chickweed is not only edible, but is also said to have medicinal properties.

The leaves and stems are high in vitamins C and A, as well as iron.

Chickweed is a well-known favorite to herbalists because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties, that can be used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rashes. Made into an ointment, it can be applied to the skin to relieve itchiness and inflammation, see herbal salve recipe below!

  • It’s very effective drawing agent for pulling splinters, infections or inflammation.
  • It can be used as a lymphatic cleaner and is often used for help with hypothyroidism.  It can be useful for those with high cholesterol and can help support kidney health.
  • It can also be taken internally for respiratory problems such as bronchitis and congestion. 

(Always consult your health care professional before using chickweed!)

 

chickweed salad

Ways to Eat Chickweed

Chickweed can be used in salads, soups, and other dishes. 

Personally, I like to use it as a sprout or lettuce substitute on sandwiches.  I also like to toss some in a smoothie for some extra nutrition, as well as with a salad.

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-Use it as a garnish on soup or other dishes.

-Make a pesto out of chickweed, olive oil, and nuts or seeds of your choice.

-Chop up and use it as a filling for tacos or burritos.

-Mix into scrambled eggs or omelets.

-Sauté with garlic and other vegetables.

-Add to homemade bread or muffin recipes.

 

 

chickweed plant

How to Identify Chickweed

Chickweed is a small, annual herb that commonly appears in gardens and yards. It has small, white flowers and long, slender leaves. The stem of chickweed is often hairy and can grow up to 20 inches in length. This weed can spread quickly, so it’s important to identify it early and take steps to control it if you don’t want it in your garden.

To identify chickweed, look for the following characteristics:

-Small, white flowers

-Long, slender leaves

-Hairy stems

-Tendency to spread quickly

If you suspect you have chickweed in your garden, pull up a few plants and examine them closely to look for these identifying features.  Investing in a field guide can be very helpful!

Dandelion: Benefits and Uses

weed

herbal salve

How to Make Chickweed Salve

Chickweed salve is a natural remedy that can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions. The chickweed plant contains properties that make it an effective healing agent for wounds, burns, rashes, and other skin problems. This salve is easy to make at home, and only requires a few simple ingredients.

To make chickweed salve, you will need:

-1/2 cup chickweed leaf (fresh or dried)

-1/4 cup olive oil

-1/4 cup beeswax

-10 drops lavender essential oil (optional)

First, infuse the herb in the olive oil by heating the two ingredients together on low heat for 30 minutes. Then strain the herb out of the oil and add the beeswax to the oil. Heat the mixture until the beeswax is melted, then remove from heat and stir in the lavender essential oil (if using). Pour the salve into a small jar or container and allow it to cool completely before using.

To use chickweed salve, simply apply it to the affected area as needed. The salve can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months.

 

I hope you’ll keep an eye out for chickweed in your unsprayed areas and find ways to enjoy it!  Share about it in the comments! 

 

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