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A Note on this Materia Medica

Each botanical write up is compiled from my notes taken at various herbal schools, favorite herb books and personal experience. This information is for general health and information only. Nothing contained in the herbal monographs should be taken as medical advice. People passionate about living a holistic lifestyle and the uses of plant medicine will find something of interest here. This project is dedicated to my love of herbs and a place where I can share with others who feel the same. This is a work in progress and as I go through my notes and continue my studies I will be updating and adding new herbs. Thank you for being here!

-Colleen, Head Witch

CHICKWEED

Stellaria media 

Common Names: Chickweed, Starweed, Stitchwort, Satin Flower
Family: Caryophyllaceae 
Part/s Used: Leaves, flowers
Energetics: Cooling
Taste: Sweet, salty, bland
Actions: Lymphatic, alterative, diuretic, emollient, demulcent, nutritive, astringent
Planet: Moon 
Element: Water

Medicinal Preparations:

Tincture (ratio & % alcohol): Fresh: 1:3 or 1:4   Dry:1:5 50%
Drops: 15-60  Times a day: 2-3

Tea: Hot infusion   
Ounces: 8-12  Times a day: 3-4x

Culinary: 1-3 cups a day fresh, cooked, pickled or stewed

Habitat and Botanical Description:

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. 

Recommended Products:

Contraindications: 

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:

  • Grieve, M. (1971). A Modern Herbal. New York, NY: Dover Publications. (Original work published 1931)
  • Sinadinos, Christa. The Essential Guide to Western Botanical Medicine. Fieldbrook, CA; 2020
  • Sinadinos, Christa. Northwest School for Botanical Studies Course. Lecture Notes; 2014
  • Wood, Matthew. The Earthwise Herbal: A complete guide to Old World medicinal plants. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books; 2008

Disclosure: This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.