top of page

Spring Herbal Allies: Chickweed


Chickweed plant, close-up image of flowers, chickweed pesto

Scientific name

Stellaria Media, Stellaria Spp.


Common Name

Chickweed, Stitchweed, Stitchwort, Star Weed, Starwort, Adder’s Mouth


Family

Caryophyllaceae


Parts Used

Leaves, Flowers, Roots


Native To

Europe and Asia


Geographic Distribution

Northern Hemisphere


Botanical Description

  • Tender, creeping perennial

  • Leaves grow in opposite pairs directly from the stem without a petiole

  • Leaves are spade or lance shaped with smooth margins

  • A line of tiny hairs climbs up one side of the stalk and switches sides after each leaf pair

  • 5 petaled white flowers have deeply cleft petals and 10 stamen surrounding 3 styles

  • Sepals form a distinct star shape behind the flowers


Key Constituents

Vitamins and Minerals (vitamins A, C, E, B-complex, calcium, copper, iron,

magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc)

Gama-linolenic Acid (an omega-6 fatty acid that is important to brain

function, skeletal growth, hair and nail growth, and metabolism)

Mucilage (soothing and moistening)

Coumarins (Antiviral and antifungal, protects neurons, fights inflammation)

Saponins (break down fatty deposits, cysts, tumors)


Sustainability Issues

None known.


Harvesting Guidelines

Look for chickweed in partial to full shade in lawns, gardens, and forests.

Gather aerial parts by hand and use fresh. Can be used fresh as food, tea, decoction or poultice, or infused and used topically as a salve or oil.


Actions

Alterative

Vulnerary

Anti-inflammatory

Antimicrobial

Expectorant

Lymphagogue


Taste & Energetics

Green/Fresh

Sweet

Astringent

Slightly sour

Cooling

Moistening


Uses

Chickweed, like Nettle, is one of the earliest spring greens and is a super-

food packed full of nourishment for the body after a long winter. It’s

primary role is as a nutritive tonic that revitalizes and rebalances the body.

Consider the moisture in chickweed, it is very fresh and contains a lot of

water, we can also think about it as working with the waters in our bodies.

It encourages lymphatic fluid to circulate in our body, cleansing and

detoxifying. It is a diuretic plant that encourages excess water and waste

to leave our system through the kidneys. It removes congestion and

mucus from the lungs and the saponins will actually break down cysts,

undigested proteins, fat cells and tumors.


The juice of chickweed when used fresh as poultice or tea or infused into

salve or oil has a rich history of use for irritated and inflamed skin

conditions and minor injuries and infections as well as to soothe swollen or

arthritic joints.


Chickeweed pesto is the best-o! FIND MY FAVORITE CHICKWEED PESTO RECIPE HERE!


Safety

Generally a safe, mild, nutritious herb. Very large concentrated doses may

cause stomach upset especially preparations of the seeds.


Top right cover image by Kaldari - Own work, CC0, https://

Comentários


Get seasonal recipes, remedies, and homesteading stories delivered straight to your inbox! 

You're on the list!

bottom of page