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Foraging for Chickweed uses Benefits and Folklore

Updated: Aug 11, 2021

Chickweed is also commonly referred to as ‘snow in the summer’ because of its white flowers that decorate the ground. However, its botanical name is Stellaria Media or Common Chickweed.


chickweed plant image

Chickweed Identification


The leaves have a teardrop/oval shape that curls very slightly at the edge of the leaf.


The stem has tiny white hairs and it is slightly thick at the joints.


You'll find the stem crawling along the ground instead of growing straight upwards.


Also, take note of the picture to the right, chickweed has small white flowers with a yellow center.



Where to find chickweed


You'll find Chickweed on the edge of woodland where it likes the shady and moist conditions. If you have a back yard, then chickweed will occupy the cool, shady, and moist areas there too.



Plants that look like chickweed


Be careful when trying to harvest chickweed as there are two dangerous lookalikes that are poisonous. One is Euphorbia corollata or flowering Spurge, you can tell this isn't chickweed because it will let out a white sap when you cut it.

Another one is scarlet pimpernel, unfortunately, this doesn't have white sap. See the images below.


The image on the left with small flowers is spurge - and on the right, the one flower with the pink center is scarlet pimpernel both are poisonous chickweed lookalikes.



Medicinal Benefits of Chickweed


You'll benefit a lot from drinking chickweed tea instead of simply throwing them away. Chickweed is a herb that has been used to treat respiratory, digestive problems, eliminate toxins, reduce fluid retention and calm inflammation.


Use Chickweed to help treat:

  • Sore throat

  • Bronchitis

  • Pleurisy

  • Colitis

  • Gastritis

  • Asthma


The herb contains beneficial minerals like iron, copper and vitamins A, B and C.


Make chickweed tea by adding the herb to bottled, filtered, or distilled water and boil for at least 20mins.


Skin


Chickweed helps to treat skin conditions like itching, irritations, rashes, and eczema.


You could make a chickweed salve and apply it to your skin. See below:


How to make Chickweed Infused Salve