Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chickweed, Stellaria media

Stellaria media (Caryophyllaceae Carnation Family)
Chickweed makes an appearance every winter in the garden and in potted plants. It forms quite a thick mat of loose succulent leaves topped by starry white flowers and seed capsules containing many orange seeds. Wild food foragers may be familiar with this universally occurring plant, using it as a tasty addition to salads and soups. I find the taste a bit bland and because the stems are covered with tiny hairs it is not always easy to swallow without inducing a coughing fit. As a herbal plant it is useful for making a poultice to sooth irritated skin. Apparently it is also possible to make a salve from Chickweed as well where it is mixed with beeswax so it can be applied for a longer period. I am not a regular user of herbal remedies but this one seems to work and from such a common garden plant.
As the common name suggests it is adored by chickens who love to scratch and pick out the oil rich seeds.

1 comment:

  1. Chickweed is one plant I actually enjoy finding in my garden. I only wish I had some pet to feed it to, like a rabbit. I have yet to try it in salads.
    Interesting to hear your results from this herbal remedy. I find aloe vera is also healing and soothing for burns.