Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Stellaria media CHICKWEED

I have been juicing the chickweed from my vegetable beds these past few days, chickweed, beetroot n apple has been my staple. I don’t normally go for the greens this time of year as they often are ‘done’ after flowering and fruiting…but the chickweed is still budding here in my garden. In fact it seems positively spring-like. I have also been chopping the plentiful leaves and stems up and adding a few of them to my salads they have a pleasant slightly salty, slightly soapy taste but most of all that green, green flavour that I know is so nourishing and nutritive.

I love the tiny delicate star shaped white flowers of this creeping, succulant green invader. I feel her medicine is bright and illuminatory.
A herb of the moon it is cooling and soothing and possibly most famous for its' amazing ability to treat hot, itchy skin conditions swiftly, moon herbs also exert control over the movements of water within the body. I use it pre-menstrually when I often get water retention it quickly relieves the bloated heavy feelings that can arrive.
A lot of the benefits ascribed to chickweed may simply be the result of its high nutritional value, one of the more nutrient-dense weeds readily available for nourishment and medicine. It contains generous amounts of: Magnesium, iron, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, zinc and sodium. It is also high in vitamin C (ascorbates), bioflavinoids, vitamin A, and some of the B-complex vitamins such as niacin. It also contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid that is a bit of a panacea really.
Birds and chickens are known to avidly feed on the seeds and leaves of chickweed hence its name. The ancient Latin name for it was Morsus gallinae which means a morsel or bite for hens.

Chickweed is classified as a demulcent herb, meaning that it soothes and reduces irritations of the mucous membranes. Demulcents coat, shield, lubricate and soothe inflamed tissue while relieving the pain associated with inflammation. Also classified as an expectorant, mostly to do with its Saponin content, acting upon the bronchi and lungs to promote the expulsion of mucous from the respiratory tract. Due to these qualities, European herbalists have used chickweed successfully in the treatment of TB, whooping cough, bronchitis and the common cold and flu. In the 1860s and 1870s, herbals published by Shaker communities described how they utilised this herb to treat any inflammations of the eye, as well as acute bacterial skin infections.

I believe that Chickweed has an influence on the liver helping to cool irritated hot and angry tissue within this busy organ and I often suggest chickweed as a hangover cure, for just this type of symptomatic picture.

The beetroot, chickweed n apple fresh juice is a fabulous immune, nervous, digestive, lymphatic, respiratory tonic........mmmmmmmmmmmmm tasty too
stir it up

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