CHICKWEED

Stellaria media 

Part/s Used:  Leaves + Flowers
Energetics:  Cooling, sweet, salty, bland or mild
Actions: Alterative, diuretic, emollient, demulcent, nutritive, astringent

Medicinal Preparations:

Tincture: Fresh 1:3 or 1:4       Dry (ratio & % alcohol): 1:5 50 %
Drops: 15-60                           Times a day: 2-3
Tea:  Hot infusions                   Ounces: 8-12              Times a day: 3-4
Food: 1-3 cups a day fresh, cooked, pickled or stewed

Habitat:

Chickweed grows throughout most of the northern hemisphere although it is thought that there is not a place in the world it does not grow. Chickweed is a self-seeding annual that grows in nutrient rich, moist soil and is one of the first greens of Spring. Chickweed can be found bordering shaded gardens, wastelands and at the edge of the woods under tree cover. 

Medicinal Uses:

Chickweed is a nutrient rich wild food that is full of vitamins and minerals. An excellent lymphatic herb that works its magic on the waters of the body. A yin tonifying herb made with 91% water. Chickweed supports movement and elimination of toxins throughout the liver, kidneys, skin, intestines and lungs. A gentle diuretic for edema, UTI and great in weight loss formulas. 

Due to its moistening properties, taking chickweed internally lubricates the dry irritated parts of the body.  Chickweed's cooling nature soothes irritation and inflammation and is especially beneficial for people with arthritis or rheumatic pain.

External:

A favorite topical for its emollient anti-inflammatory properties.  Juice and make ice cubes and use on the skin for acute injuries, stings, burns, hives, hot skin, dermatitis, itching, eczema, and psoriasis.

Harvesting:

Harvest in the early spring during the early stages of growth (flower is ok too).  An easy way to identify chickweed is the hairline on one side, which switches at each pair of leaves. The stem of Chickweed is weak, slender, juicy and pale green and trails close to the ground. The leaves are oval shaped and succulent like. The flowers open in the morning and close in the evening, but rain prevents them from expanding. 

Beauty:

The fresh wilted flowers can be infused in oil and used in salves. 

Contraintradictions: 

Contact dermatitis rare but has been reported. Some people may have an allergy to chickweed, but most will not. Large doses may cause digestive upset.
Sources:
Northwest School for Botanical Studies by Christa Sinadinos. 
Herbal Academy Monographs by The Herbal Academy 
A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve.
The Earthwise Herbal by Matthew Wood.