Foraging for Chickweed uses Benefits and Folklore

Updated: 2 days ago

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


Harvest some chickweed and put it in a glass jug or bowl and drench it with oil so that the entire harvest is drenched in oil.


Then get some water boiling on a stove.


Place the jar with the chickweed and oil into the water boiling on the stove. Note, place the entire jar in the water and do not pour the chickweed and oil into the water.


Boil for 2 hours - make sure that the oil doesn't boil! Keep in on medium to high heat to prevent this from happening.


Then leave it to rest overnight


Next, heat some beeswax (or any other wax you prefer). You can do this by placing it in a glass container and putting that into hot/boiling water until it melts.


Strain the chickweed from the oil and mix with the beeswax to make the salve.




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Sources

https://draxe.com/nutrition/chickweed/

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/451345193888133424/

https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/flowering-spurge