Chickweed Herb (Stellaria Media)


Chickweeds are medicinal and edible plants. They are very nutritious, high in vitamins and minerals, can be added to salads or cooked as a pot herb, tasting somewhat like spinach.

Native to Europe and Asia, chickweed is now found in virtually all of the world. It grows easily in open areas and is generally regarded as a troublesome weed. It seems to thrive in areas where cultivation is common and in unattended gardens, but dwindles and becomes sparce where farming is abandoned.

It is a sprawling perennial, growing to about six inches high and producing hairy stems, oval leaves, and star-like white flowers. It is harvested throughout the growing season as a food and a medicine.

In Gerard’s day (late 1500s), chickweed was given as a tonic to caged birds.

A chronic weed to some, it has long been a valuable vegetable, as well as being used medicinally.

In the 1st century CE, Dioscorides, a Greek physician, wrote that chickweed could be used with cornmeal for eye inflammation and that the juice could be introduced into the ear for an earache.

It was given as a tonic to malnourished children, reflecting its use in poor European rural areas as a “free food” in hard times.

Key Actions

  • astringent
  • antirheumatic
  • demulcent
  • heals wounds

Key Components

  • coumarins
  • carbolic acids
  • flavonoids (including rutin)
  • atty acids
  • mucilage
  • minerals
  • silica
  • triterpenoid saponins
  • vitamins A, B, C

Do not use if there is any kidney disease present.
Do not exceed dosage as an excessive dose can have an adverse effect on the kidneys; and, in rare cases, may cause heart failure.