A Plant at a time II: Chickweed

Healing through nourishment the Wise Woman Way; discover the Six Steps of Healing; Talking with plants and honoring mother earth's green gifts via wildcrafting, gardening, weed walks, and botany "one plant at a time".

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A Plant at a time II: Chickweed

Postby LadyB » Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:42 am

Kickin' this off from a compilation from our archives and flyin' it again:
What say we gather our thoughts and questions and stories about the dear little STAR LADY here!

Like with Burdock, Chickweed comes with the built-in identifier....if you hold a little sprig of it up to the sky, you'll notice silky hairs on ONLY ONE SIDE of the stem. Then you know you DON'T have some odd veronica, or mouse-eared chickweed.

Lady B
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hi,
I think I have 2 types of chickweed in my yard/garden. they both have the 5 petals that look like 10 petals flowers, one variety has heartish shaped leaves and the other has oblong slightly hairy leaves.
I'm guessing the one is stellaria media and the other is mouse eared chickweed (I don't know the latin name).

my question is..... can I tincture, vinegar, oil infusion, etc. them both (together) or only the stellaria media?
my real question then is...... does mouse eared chickweed have the same (medicinal) properties as regular chickweed?

thanks and peace,
melissa
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Hi Melissa,
My understanding is "close, but no mouse".....and I tend to agree. If you really STUDY both of them closely and recall what we MOST use Stellaria media for, her leaves LOOK more like that. That incredibly cool tenderness. And actually, your mouse-eared chickweed is a whole different animal, Cerastium vulgatum. In the field guide to EDIBLE plants where they even MENTION the mouse-eared chickweed, they note that the hairy leaves MUST be cooked and we know that true Chickweed is best UNcooked. In the field guide to MEDICINAL plants, it's not mentioned at all.....

And while we've kicked this one back up to the top of the pile, has anyone else used Chickweed for weight loss? Knowing it's ability to dissolve fat molecules down to something your body can excrete makes it GOOD for that.

Lady B
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Hello all, I've had the strangest most wonderfull experience this weekend.
I've been looking for little stellaria for almost a month now. I just didn't get it. It's supposed to grow all over, I looked up the different names for this little beauty and yes, it's supposed to grow in Norway. So I searched and looked in the woods, along roads, footpaths... had great encounters with all kinds of weeds and plants but still no starlady.
Well this weekend I just had to get up and honor the moon hiding the sun - real spacy experience especially since it was around 5:00AM. The sun gets up around 4AM and the sky was clear, really something. I was standing in my gravel drive, looked down where I was standing and guess what? There she was! A big patch of her.
So now most of her lives in a better home, looks like she didn't mind to move.
I hope to use her for infusion to flash less and I'm intrigued by the weightloss prospect of chickweed. I ought to shed some weight to get thru the sommermonths.
Cloudberry
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And did you hear her GIGGLING????? Looking up from the gravel drive and saying she was WONDERING when you'd FIND her!! Just LOVE it when that stuff happens.

But you know dear, personally, I wouldn't INFUSE her at all. Just chow down RAW....GREATEST salad, a total HOOT on sandwiches, tincture some so you have her through your LONNNNNG winter. (I ADORE the smell/taste of the tincture...oh, the GREEN-ness of it all)

Oh I see I didn't yet put in the link to my Suite101 Chickweed article! Here ya go:
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/631/5352

enjoy,
LadyB

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Dear LadyB, right you are! Raw is the best, I love to nibble at it when I come home from work. I've been asked by two different neighbours if I've gone completely mad and have started to eat gravel??!! Oh yes the little lady not only gigles, she laughs her head off! I've never met a plant before that enjoys so much slapstick humor.
I've put some in a litle jar of vodka to make tincture and so far it's turned the most wonderfull vivid green.
Cloudberry

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Yes, yes, the folks at Glynwood thought I'd lost my mind too. I'd be out weeding the cutting garden and stuffing leaves IN MY MOUTH.....heh heh heh....LadyB

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There was I pondering the latin names of roses for rosehips to get vitamin c, while without even realising what I'm doing...in she goes, fresh chixyweed. Munching away on her on morning walks...tasting little bits of rosehips n going blyukkk sour! Listened to Lady bug live radio show and Susun mentions Stellaria as a scurvey cure!!!Sometimes intellect is fabulous, other times it seem 2 get in the way.

..Made my first ever tinctures!! Stellaria being one....amazed how many fresh plant bits compress into a single jar..gave a local patch a trim of an inch or two, hoping she'll come back even thicka!??

There seem 2 b several look alikes round here, a darker green dude with smaller more dense oval leaves that I haven't seen flower yet..aaaahhh the green appprentice-ship sails on......

opal
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Postby whitefeather treewicca » Wed Dec 15, 2004 2:15 pm

Thanks Lady B, thats a great idea to revive these threads. I look forward to more!
J :)
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Postby javamilk » Mon Dec 20, 2004 10:28 pm

A chickweed story...

For those who missed the thread on my very odd infection...

My earlobe had a staph infection. I ended up in the ER because it was creeping down my neck. The ER doc put me on antibiotics and told me to go to a plastic surgeon to get the ear drained. I was advised to try chickweed or plantain by the (very wise) women of this forum. So I drove across town and bought chickweed tea, which I used as a poultice. Then, I decided to see what I could find out about the plant. One of the webpages I found had a description, and I realised that I have BOATLOADS of it in my backyard! So I went outside, picked it, washed it and bruised it up but good. Some of it went right on my ear, the rest I made into a salve. I've been keeping it on my ear for 3 days, changing it every few hours.(cleaning it off and putting new on, at the same time as my heat treatments) Tonight, the infection decided it had been here long enough and started draining! I don't have to pay a visit to the butchers!

I fully credit the chickweed with this infection SOFTENING and bursting, saving me from a visit to another doctor, so I figured I would post my praises for all to see...
It's not having what you want...It's wanting what you have.
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Postby Persephone » Mon Dec 20, 2004 11:19 pm

Hey, I was searching for something totally unrelated, and I found this, which might be useful to someone: http://www.organicpathways.co.nz/story.cfm?StoryID=339

At least I thought it was really cool :)
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Postby javamilk » Mon Dec 20, 2004 11:38 pm

That WAS a really cool article! I can't wait to look thru the rest of the site...it already gave me a few ideas, just by reading that ONE article...since this will be my first year in this house, I can't wait to see what comes up in the spring!
It's not having what you want...It's wanting what you have.
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Postby wildflower » Wed Dec 29, 2004 2:30 pm

MMMM. I love little chickweed! It seems to grow all the time, even in the snow. What a refreshing burst of green it gives you in the winter when nothing else seems fresh! A squeeze of lemon juice, some olive oil, and a little goat cheese and MMM. I adapted a recipe from Tosca's website where I warm an apple or pear in the oven sprinkled with goat cheese. I lay the chickweed down in a plate and hit it with some fresh lemon juice. I put the warmed pear and cheese mixture on the chickweed and finish it off with a sweet vinagrette, such as raspberry or a simple vinagrette made with wine vinegar, honey, and olive oil. A sprinkle of pomegranate seeds makes a nice garnish.
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Postby Judy L » Mon Jan 03, 2005 5:09 pm

What is the best way to make an infused oil with Chickweed? Does she need to wilt first? On the stove? or In the cupboard?

Thanks,
Judy
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Postby LadyB » Mon Jan 03, 2005 5:33 pm

Yup, on the stove, real slow, over a double boiler at simmer for about three hours. I've ALWAYS had it rot when I try it at room temp.
LadyB
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Postby Starshine » Thu Jan 06, 2005 12:26 pm

LadyB,

Several months ago I was reading up on Chickweed on this forum, and I think it was you who posted a recipe for a "five sisters" salve made with Chickweed, Plantain and a few other herbs. It sounded fantastic. But I can't find that post now. Would you mind posting it again, if indeed that was your recipe?

Blessings,
Starshine
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Postby LadyB » Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:28 pm

Nope, I do Five Buddies in a Blender for Poison Ivy, but it's not a salve.
My five buddies are Chickweed, Plantain, Comfrey, Burdock leaf annnnnd Jewelweed. Everybody gets buzzed about in a blender with water and witch hazel.
LadyB
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Postby Starshine » Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:42 am

ok, thanks LadyB. That sounds familiar. How nice that the 5 buddies are around about the same time as poison ivy. I wonder where I got the idea of the 5 sisters salve? Maybe I dreamt it. It sounds good, doesn't it?

;) Blessings,
Molly
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Chickeweed for Cat Abscess

Postby Enchanted Wood Goddess » Wed May 02, 2007 2:02 pm

One of the indoor/outdoor cats came home with an abscess behind his ear and I was immediately drawn to making an infusion with fresh chickweed. Well, I put it on a cotton ball when it was hot and gave him compresses and by the next day the abscess had opened and drained very nicely saving us a trip to the vet and an unnecessary drain.
Pretty amazing stuff if you ask me!
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Postby herbalistpath » Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:08 pm

I have a write up on chickweed itch oil on my blog if anyone is interested
http://herbalistpath.blogspot.com/2007/ ... h-oil.html
Angie Goodloe LMT, Herbalist
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Postby Indigo Woman » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:10 am

Mmm. Chickweed is my ally. Just outside my door is a large raised bed with flowers, herbs, a rose bush and a grape vine in it. To the uninitiated - but of course everyone here knows better - it looks like I don't bother to weed the bed. It's thick with a carpet of the most gorgeous yummy luscious emerald green chickweed. I'm blessed.

I eat it instead of lettuce. I add it to everything - soup, sandwiches, rice, beans, whatever, first I get the food ready and then go out and pick a handful of chickweed, just bring it in and pick off the scraggly bits and chop it up. I make pesto. I make vinegar. I make juice in the blender. I use the bruised plant or the juice to cool burns and abscesses. I make a salve with chickweed and chamomile that is so soothing and smells so good that my six-year-old niece has been known to throw a tantrum because I gave her whole family a jar of it and didn't give her her own personal jar!

I go out and sit with the chickweed, and I notice she is happiest when it's cool or after a rain. She goes limp in the heat. She loves the full moon, it wakes her up and makes her dance.

I don't get the impression of a dainty lady that I some people describe. To me, getting to know chickweed has been all about learning to expand, to relax into the flow of abundant life. Chickweed is lush and rich and generous. She teaches me to let go and trust. She brings me comfort when I'm feeling disconnected and over-busy.

An anecdote: some years ago, my mother was working in her garden and some Jehova's Witnesses came to talk to her. She knew them personally, so she talked with them while continuing to work. The woman was trying to find a personal analogy to convince my mom that people are divided into good and evil and only God can get rid of evil so we can live in peace. What she came up with was "if only I could get rid of the chickweed, then I could get my garden under control." My mom looked at her as if she were crazy and said "You mean you don't EAT it?!" That was the end of that!

The tiny white flowers are just coming out. I want to try making a flower essence (if we ever have sun for more than a few hours at a time!) Chickweed is my best plant friend.
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Reviving the chickweed thread!

Postby anchasta » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:47 am

I have just discovered chickweed as a great ally!

I have had recurring pain and sensitivity in my girly bits for years now...nothing was helping!

On top of that, I had a giant boil/swollen gland/stressed owie appear on my labia a week ago! I'm pretty sure it was brought on by my preceding week or two of being sick.

So, after perusing this wonderful forum and a couple of other pages, I decided to search my yard for chickweed. BOOM! There she was, shining and glittering in dew in the corner of my yard. I found the single line of hair and brought her inside, bruised her up with a violet leaf, and applied to the lump with a cool washrag rinsed in an infusion of chamomile, comfrey, and yarrow.

After doing that, then a hot rag, then more chickweed and cool, then a hot rag, it came to a head overnight and drained the next morning.

Phew. Life just got SO much better!

I'm off to harvest some chickweed for a tincture. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Thanks for all your help!
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