Chickweed

The Star Lady

Botanical Name: Stellaria media

Family:  Caryophyllaceae

Common Names: starweed, Winter weed, star lady

IDENTIFICATION

Chickweed is an annual sprawling plant.  It self seeds readily.  It loves cool weather and moist environments.  I love it’s nutty fresh taste and look for it even under snow drifts.  Spring and Fall are the best time to harvest this fabulous wild weed.
Leaf: Opposite pairs, spade shaped and entire

Stem: The stem is weak and juicy, lines of hairs climb up the quadrants of the stem

Flower: Deeply divided petals. There are only 5 petals but they are so deeply cleft that they look like 10.  White star flowers!

Chickweed growing in my compost bin, early Spring

TIME

Chickweed grows year round even under the snow!  During hot months it goes to seed (this is the time to collect the seeds).  Likes cool conditions, rich cultivated soil.

ENVIRONMENT

Loves gardens, cool conditions, old rotting logs, shade to partial shade

METHOD OF PREPARATION

Salad greens, energy green drink, pesto, vinegar for salad dressings, spinach substitute, stir fried, vegetable, freezes well.  Cut with scissors to give it a hair cut and it will keep growing and growing (try not to uproot).

NUTRITION

Chickweed is high is calcium protecting bones and teeth, preventing muscle cramping, maintains regular heart beat
Potassium, regulates water balance, nervous health
Vitamin C, helps calcium and iron formation, anti oxidant, proper tissue growth, adrenal

Trace minerals, phosphorus, sodium potassium, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium

HERBAL ACTIONS

Astringent, Anti rheumatic, Demulcent, Vulnerary, Lymphatic, Emollient, Anti inflammatory, Refrigerant, Carminative, Expectorant, Laxative, Alterative, Anti septic, Anti pyretic, Restorative


FUN FACTS

1.Chickweed addresses these conditions: lymph mover, swollen glands, sore throat

2. Chickweed dissolves cysts, tumors and irregular growths

3. Chickweed helps skin disorders, a favorite for diaper rash and babies, used topically for skin eruptions, hemorrhoids, cuts, wounds, burns, etc. It

4. Chickweed is effective with dry coughs

5. Chickweed deals with inflammatory problems: ulcers, hemorrhoids, gallbladder.

6. Chickweed heals wounds and draws out infection

7. Chickweed is really helpful with eye problems: pinkeye, itchy and dry eyes

8. Chickweed is a joint oiler for rheumatism

9. Chickweed is considered by many an herbal diet pill, Eating chickweed also thins the membranes of your cells so that nutrients are more readily absorbed and utilized.

 

RESOURCES

Recipes

Chickweed Pesto on colorful Bruschetta