Chickweed, whose botanical name (Stellaria media) means little star, can often be found thriving from Spring onwards in gardens, roadsides, and parks. It is a delicate little spreading plant with small soft leaves and tiny white star-shaped flowers.
Many traditional orchardists encourage the growth of chickweed under their trees as it is thought to encourage larger fruit yields – in fact it is often planted in vineyards on the Rhine. The leaves of the plant are quite delicious, and are an incredibly nutritious addition to any salad. They have a milder flavour similar to lettuce, but can tend towards being somewhat stringy if too many stems are included.
The nutritional profile of chickweed indicates that this plant is a great source of iron, calcium, chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, magnesium, manganese, silicon, zinc, and vitamin C. The leaves are rich in chlorophyll, and are therefore great for nourishing and purifying the blood. Eat the leaves raw in salads, add them to sandwiches, make a chickweed pesto, sprinkle them over eggs or simply brew them as a herbal infusion.
Chickweed works well both internally and externally. It is very soothing for the digestive system, with a particular focus on treating inflammatory conditions. People who have respiratory issues can also benefit from these soothing internal properties,
and they are also recommended for the relief of arthritis, rheumatic pain, constipation, diabetes, candida, fatigue, mouth ulcers, blood poisoning, eyesight improvement, thyroid functioning, urinary system ailments, liver and gallbladder health, and aiding the lymphatic system!
A poultice or ointment made from this plant can give great relief to eczema sufferers, along with many other skin conditions, including burns, bites, and rashes. Chickweed in the bath can soothe the skin, and is also useful for haemorrhoids, joint pain, and over-worked muscles.
Herbal folklore considers chickweed to be valuable where dissolving is required. Taken daily over many months, it has been shown to dissolve cysts, breast lumps, and lumps elsewhere in the body.