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  • Writer's pictureSanna

The benefits and use of Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Updated: Jul 12, 2022


Chickweed is a cooling and moistening herb for hot situations. It can soothe irritated eyes, dry coughs, an inflamed lymph system, and skin conditions that are red, irritated and itchy. Chickweed is high in saponins, soap like constituents that acts as an antimicrobial within the plant. In humans, saponins have a range of beneficial functions, including regulating blood sugar, supporting healthy microbiome, and modulating inflammation. Chickweed is a little star in the herb world. it is one of the best weeds to have in your garden!


Chickweed is a nutrient dense plant, offering us deep nourishment in its fresh spring growth. It can be used as great support for someone who may be chronically ill or recovering from a long-term illness. It contains many nutrients, including beta-carotene, calcium, fibre, iron, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin A, B, C and zinc.


Food uses:

-Can be boiled and eaten as a green vegetable much like spinach.

-Leaves can be eaten raw as a savoury herb in salads, sandwiches, chopped in soups, omelettes, stuffing, meatballs or pies, or used as a garnish.


Preparations:

-Cream

-Food

-Oil

-Salve

-Succus (juice)

-Tincture

-Vinegar


Harvesting cautions!

Chickweed has two poisonous look-alikes. When not in bloom, scarlet pimpernel looks nearly identical to chickweed. However, it has hairless stem. The flowers are orange, red or blue. The second look-alike to avoid is Spurge. Spurge lacks chickweeds hairy stem and has different leaves. When broken, spurge exudes a milky sap that can irrate skin.


Chickweed pesto

1/4 cup pine nuts

3 cups loosely packed fresh chickweed

2 garlic cloves

kosher salt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium- low heat, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Remove the nuts from the pan and let them cool.

2. Combine the pine nuts, chickweed, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.

3. With the processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until the mixture is smooth.

4. Add the cheese and pulse until just combined. Taste and add seasoning as desired.






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