Posted by Bonnie Rogers on 3/27/2012 to Herbal Medicine
Spring showed up here a little earlier than anyone expected; nothing like having 60-70 degree days in February and March in New York. The plants are so happy; they’ve been breaking through the ground all over the place. My daffodils are already about 10 inches tall, they’re not usually like this till mid-April. Maybe it’s a message to us that we should be eating our spring greens earlier this year than before?
When we talk about eating spring greens, it’s not about going to the store and picking up a bunch of kale or collards, it’s all about eating wild foods. Greens that are bringing up from your land or land that is right around you nutrients to nourish your cells. Early spring chlorophyll to clean your digestive system and clear out winter gunk.
Today we’re going to talk about Chickweed – (Stellaria media). She is growing all over the place now. I was lucky enough the other day to get a call from a friend that she was turning over the soil in a greenhouse and I should come pick the chickweed that had planted herself there. Yummmmm, I’ve been eating it like crazy this week – and I got it just in the nick of time as I came down with a wicked cough and cold this week.
What is chickweed for?
- She helps to thin the cell membranes so that nutrients are absorbed and utilized easily
- Helps the lungs release excess fluid (which is why I’m using her today – in fact my husband has been fighting a sore throat and swollen glands – ended up on antibiotics but still the swollen glands wouldn’t go away. I put a poultice of the chickweed on his neck for about a half hour – the swollen glands disappeared and never showed up again – pretty cool)
- Increases intestinal absorption – got an intestinal problem – IBD, IBS, Colitis, think about chickweed
- Think about chickweed as slippery like soap. She has lots of saponins which are soap-like and what she does is have the ability to slide into things and clean them up – for example, replacing fat with protein and mineral salts. Chickweed likes to help emulsify fats and for some with weight issues she is a godsend.
- A great salad – tastes delicious, not bitter. Today I chopped up the chickweed and used an herbal vinegar called Fire Cider and some olive oil as my dressing. What an amazing healing salad. (Just a side note, fire cider is apple cider vinegar infused with garlic, ginger, onion, horseradish and chili peppers)
- One of the first things I think of with chickweed is her ability to cool things off – so think swollen joints, fever and infections.
- Chickweed tincture – taken continuously for at least a few months can dissolve cysts, including ovarian ones
- Many years ago a friend’s dog had scratched its eye, the veterinarian thought nothing could help, we applied a poultice to the eye with chickweed and violet and within a week the eye was healed.
- Chickweed is a powerful ally to the glandular and lymphatic system. I love to think of her as a total nourisher for the body. One who can cool you down when the situation is hot, a nourishing healer of wounds, and an herbal diet pill. Quite a lot for one little plant.
I’ve never experienced this, but I’ve been told that for people that have lipomas (some call them fatty tumors) that using chickweed can help dissolve them.
When chickweed is out like it is now I like to make tincture, oil and just plain eat it. I use the tincture when I don’t have it fresh and the oil is wonderful to help with the dissolving of things. Using herbs internally and externally at the same time always makes them more potent.