CHICKWEED (Stellaria media)
Given as a tonic to malnourished children, and regarded as “free-food” in European rural regions.
Habitat & Cultivation: Native to Europe and Asia. Sun loving, perennial, that will tolerate many weather conditions, may now be found worldwide. Sow seeds at any time directly to soil.
Constituents: Triterpenoid saponins (reducing itchiness), Coumarins, Flavanoids (including rutin), Fatty acids, vitamins A, B, C, Minerals, Mucilage, Silica
Actions: Wound herb, Astringent, Demulcent, Embroilment, mild laxative, Antirheumatic
Parts Used: Aerial parts (fresh/dry)
Traditional Uses: Infused Oil (an alternative to creams), Ointment, Cream, Poultice, Juice, Infusion
Adding juice into cream or ointment: Juice fresh aerial parts of the plant, and mix it into an ointment or cream. – 1 part Chickweed to 5 parts cream or ointment. Apply as needed.
Eczema: To reduce soreness or itchiness, apply Chickweed Infused Oil, or ointment, or cream, or freshly squeezed juice up to 5x/day. Another option is to make an herbal blend by mixing 2 drops of peppermint oil with 1 tsp. of any Chickweed preparations. Alternatively, add 5 tsp (25ml) to bath water to treat eczema.
Diaper Rash & Inflamed Skin Rashes: Red, sore and damp baby’s skin causing tenderness and irritation. Apply Infused Oil or an ointment 1-2x/day.
Nettle rash: Apply cream as required.
Splinters & Thorns: Make an overnight treatment by putting a small amount of ointment or cream onto the area and cover it with a bandage. The splinter, is usually, found on the bandage pad the next morning.
Minor Burns & Wounds: Apply an ointment as needed.
Muscular Rheumatism, Urinary Tract Inflammations: Make a tea by combining 2tsp of aerial parts with a 1 cup of water. Steep it for about 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup up to 3x/day.
Skin Sores, Gout, Abscesses, Boils: Make a poultice by crushing fresh plant aerial parts and filling a muslin bag or cheesecloth with the mixture –apply to affected area as needed.
Caution: Do not take plant while pregnant. The plant may cause diarrhea, vomiting, and heart attack (rare cases) when taken in excess doses. Do not use if you are struggling with kidneys.
Credits: Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine (Andrew Chevallier), The Complete Medicinal Herbal (Penelope Ody), Healing Remedies (C. Norman Shealy), National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs (Rebecca L. Johnson & Steven Foster, Tieraona Low Dog & David Kiefer), University of Maryland Medical Center
- Jana Glanzer