Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Chickweed is easily one of the more overlooked medicinal herbs, often taken for a nuisance weed. But if you spot her tiny white, star-like flowers for which she is named (Stellaria means star in latin), be thankful she has decided to grow in your garden. Healing, soothing and cooling in nature, she shows us that medicine does not need to be exotic or difficult to come by, but is all around us waiting to be noticed. She is native to Europe, but is now naturalised in many part of the World.
Traditionally, Chickweed is known to soothe irritations. Topically it was used in poultices for treating hot, irritated skin conditions such as rashes, eczema, bites and stings, and was also used to soothe irritated eyes. It was also used as a cooling diuretic to support the kidneys and balance fluid in the body. The common name, Chickweed, refers to the fact that it was traditionally fed to chickens and other birds, as it was readily available and very nourishing. In fact, it is so nourishing, it was even used to treat Scurvy in humans.
Chickweed is high in vitamin A, B & C, iron and calcium and can be added to salads and juices to nourish and support a healthy metabolism. Recent studies have shown Chickweed helps support healthy lipid metabolism and weight loss. It contains saponins which have anti-inflammatory activity, and also flavonoids, which are anti-allergenic and antibacterial. It's this anti-inflammatory activity that makes it so effective for treating irritated skin conditions.
We use skin soothing Chickweed in our Bug Balm, Skin Rescue & Baby Balm.
Please note, all the information provided on this page is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as specific medical advice. We recommend speaking with a qualified healthcare practitioner for treatment of any specific health conditions.
© The Physic Garden 2019.
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