Chickweed (Stellaria media
) is a cool-season annual herb of the Caryophyllaceae plant family. It is thought to have originated in Europe and western Asia, however is now widespread in temperate climates worldwide. Chickweed is known to be a medicinal and edible plant, as well as a useful poultice ingredient. It is commonly found growing in mulch skirts of shade trees.
Chickweed grows erect to prostrate and its parts have the following distinguishing characteristics:
- Stems:Forked, slender and smooth; with lines of hairs down the sides
- Leaves: broadly, egg-shaped, with a pointy tip; mostly hairless or have hairy margins at the base. They are spaced evenly and opposite along stems. Lower leaves are stalkless and smaller than upper, stalked leaves.
- Flowers: Small, showy, white to pinkish flowers bloom early spring. They have five deeply-cut petals that are produced in open clusters at the ends of stems.
Chickens love the taste of chickweed, hence the name, chick
weed. It has been used in traditional medicine to treat a number of conditions, such as inflammations of the digestive, renal, respiratory and reproductive tracts.
Chickweed contains Ascorbic-acid, Beta-carotene, Calcium, Coumarins, Genistein, Gamma-linolenic-acid, Flavonoids, Hentriacontanol, Magnesium, Niacin, Oleic-acid, Potassium, Riboflavin, Rutin, Selenium, Triterpenoid saponins, Thiamin, and Zinc.
Lisa from Fresh Eggs Daily Blog recommends the use of chickweed for pain relief. She provides a recipe for making a salve that can be applied fresh directly to a wound to help relieve pain