Chickweed is a fast-growing plant that has been utilized as a people treatment for a lot of situations, together with arthritis pains, pores and skin situations, reminiscent of rashes and eczema, bronchial asthma, constipation, and kidney associated points.
Whereas there have been few dependable research investigating chickweed advantages in comparison with these of different frequent greens, there’s cause to imagine that this herb is excessive in antioxidants, saponins, nutritional vitamins C and A, and quite a few different anti-inflammatory compounds.
Whether or not consumed as a tea, tincture of recent juice, or utilized to the pores and skin as a compress or salve, chickweed can be utilized to assist lower swelling, ache, redness and congestion.
What Is Chickweed?
The herb known as chickweed (Stellaria media), additionally generally known as frequent chickweed, is a plant native to Europe that’s used for a number of medicinal functions. There are literally a number of completely different species of vegetation within the Stelleria genus which can be known as chickweed, that are members of the carnation plant household (Caryophyllaceae).
The plant earned its title as a result of cluster of white flowers it produces. In accordance with the Wild Meals and Medicines web site, stellaria means “star” and media means “within the midst of.”
Different names that chickweed generally goes by embody:
- white chook’s eye
- mouse ear
- satin flower
Is chickweed fit for human consumption? Sure, and there’s good cause to contemplating it’s excessive in a number of vitamins.
You possibly can eat it each uncooked and cooked, and in contrast to another nutrient-dense vegetation, reminiscent of dandelion or mustard greens, for instance, chickweed is described as having a pleasing and delicate style that isn’t very bitter.
How do you determine frequent chickweed? Chickweed species are cool climate vegetation (they thrive in climates between 53 and 68 levels Fahrenheit) discovered all through Europe and the U.S.
They have an inclination to develop prolifically in sunny or partially sunny patches of grass the place there’s moist soil, normally within the fall and in early spring.
As a result of they develop rapidly and in abundance, some even take into account them to be weeds, nevertheless they’ll make an excellent addition to your food regimen on account of their provide of useful compounds.
Listed here are some suggestions for serving to you to determine chickweed:
- Search for succulent stems that develop as much as a foot and a half. A single line of hair grows down the center of the stem.
- Chickweed additionally produces tiny white flowers all through the rising season. The flowers develop in pods of about 5 white flowers and look just like carnations. Every petal is formed like rabbit ears, making it appear as if there are 10 flowers.
- The plant ought to have oval-shaped leaves that develop in pairs reverse one another. The inexperienced leaves are a few quarter inch to 1 and 1 / 4 inch lengthy.
- When you puncture the stems and press them and pull them aside, no milky sap ought to come out, which distinguishes them from related vegetation.
Well being Advantages
What’s chickweed good for? Whereas extra credible analysis research are wanted to verify precisely the way it can influence our well being, chickweed has quite a few conventional makes use of in natural drugs — together with lowering irritation, growing antioxidant consumption, supporting intestine well being, lowering ache and bettering pores and skin well being.
Along with supplying you with many invaluable vitamins, it additionally accommodates compounds known as saponins, which research recommend struggle micro organism, irritation and have astringent properties. (Saponins are additionally present in related vegetation reminiscent of soapwort, which can also be within the Caryophyllaceae plant household and has many related makes use of.)
Right here’s extra about a number of the most researched chickweed advantages:
1. Good Supply of Nutritional vitamins and Antioxidants
What nutritional vitamins are in chickweed? Stellaria species are wealthy in vitamins together with nutritional vitamins C and A, B nutritional vitamins (reminiscent of thiamine, riboflavin and niacin), magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc. This plant even accommodates an honest quantity of protein, in addition to an excellent dose of fiber.
Research have demonstrated that chickweed accommodates antioxidants together with phytosterols, tocopherols, triterpene saponins, hentiacontanol, coumarins, natural acids and flavonoids, which have the flexibility to struggle free radical harm.
As a result of it’s an excellent supply of vitamin C and zinc, it could possibly help general immune system well being and shield in opposition to quite a few situations, reminiscent of coughs, bronchial asthma, allergy symptoms and bronchitis.
It additionally advantages skeletal well being due to its provide of calcium and magnesium, in addition to pores and skin well being on account of its provide of antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A together with zinc.
2. Could Have Anti-inflammatory, Ache-Lowering Results
Stellaria vegetation have lengthy been prescribed in homeopathic and conventional methods of drugs for managing painful signs tied to rheumatism, arthritis, PMS, digestive and respiratory points, and extra.
Relying on the signs it’s getting used to deal with, it may be taken internally as a tea or tincture, or utilized topically to painful and swollen joints or areas of the pores and skin.
Moreover, it’s been proven to have expectorant results, that means it might assist loosen mucus and help respiratory well being.
3. Can Assist Assist Digestion and Intestine Well being
Chickweed presents intestine, digestive, kidney and intestinal help on account of its antioxidants, fiber, important nutritional vitamins and minerals, reminiscent of magnesium, and on account of its pure diuretic properties.
Together with greens in your food regimen may help help general intestine well being by having prebiotic results (which “feed” useful probiotic micro organism), preventing oxidative stress and irritation. This in flip facilitates capabilities reminiscent of nutrient absorption, cleansing and elimination.
Some use this plant to assist stop or deal with constipation and abdomen bloating. Attributable to its fiber content material, it might even be filling, assist management one’s urge for food and encourage bowel motion regularity.
Actually, some animal research recommend it might have sure anti-obesity results when consumed in excessive doses. It’s believed it might help weight reduction by delaying intestinal absorption of dietary fats and carbohydrates by inhibiting digestive enzymes.
4. Has Pure Diuretic Results
Chickweed is taken into account to have delicate, pure diuretic results that help the well being of the kidneys and bladder. It might assist struggle bladder infections and kidney-related points, whereas reducing fluid retention and swelling.
5. Has Astringent Properties and Helps Pores and skin Well being
As a result of it has pure astringent, anti-inflammatory, cooling and drying results, Stellaria media has been used to help pores and skin well being in people drugs for hundreds of years. Widespread makes use of embody externally serving to to deal with points reminiscent of:
- rashes and itchiness (analysis suggests it has emollient, anti-viral and anti inflammatory properties when utilized to the pores and skin)
- sores and boils
- cuts and scrapes
- minor burns
- insect bites
- varicose veins
- wounds and ulcers
There are a number of methods to make use of this plant to appease infected and itchy pores and skin, together with by making a pure salve with do-it-yourself chickweed oil or including some brewed chickweed tea or recent juice to compresses or poultices. For astringent and cleaning results, a tincture may additionally be used on the pores and skin.
Why does chickweed assist clear, moisturize and shield the pores and skin? Along with its means to scale back irritation, it additionally accommodates steroidal saponins that kind foam when mixed with water.
Saponins can enhance permeability of many membranes within the pores and skin and physique, serving to useful compounds seep into the physique and scale back swelling.
Dangers and Aspect Results
Is chickweed toxic? No, it’s thought of fit for human consumption and drink in reasonable quantities and can also be usually very protected for topical use.
One other constructive is that it’s normally grown within the wild, organically and is never sprayed with pesticides.
What are the uncomfortable side effects of chickweed? Consuming it in excessive quantities might result in digestive points and different results.
It may well presumably trigger an upset abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea, gasoline, cramping and elevated urination. When you’re not accustomed to consuming greens, begin with a small quantity and step by step enhance your consumption as much as about one or two cups day by day.
One potential concern with consuming plenty of these greens is that their provide of saponins could also be aggravating for some folks. Extreme consumption of uncooked greens containing saponins needs to be averted, particularly throughout being pregnant or breastfeeding — nevertheless for most individuals reasonable quantities received’t pose a threat.
Cooking the greens can also be one strategy to decrease the saponin content material.
Keep on with ingesting two to 3 cups of chickweed tea per day for a number of weeks at a time; then take into account taking a break for one to 2 weeks. If utilizing it long run, it’s a good suggestion to get your physician’s opinion, particularly in case you have any kidney, bladder or intestine-related points.
Makes use of, Dosage and Recipes
Practically all components of the frequent chickweed plant are edible, together with the stems, leaves, flowers and seed pods.
When you reside in a temperate local weather you’ll be able to simply develop chickweed in your individual yard. The vegetation reside for about six weeks and rapidly germinate.
As soon as the greens are mature, lower the stems close to the bottom of the leaves and take away any wilted or brown leaves.
Hold the greens at room temperature with the stems positioned in a cup with water, and ideally use them inside a day or so of reducing. (Some don’t prefer to refrigerate the greens since this will trigger them to wilt, nevertheless others discover that they final for a number of days in case you wrap them in a humid paper towel or place it in a plastic bag within the fridge.)
Making Chickweed Pores and skin Salve:
As talked about above, chickweed has soothing, cooling, hydrating and therapeutic properties when utilized to delicate or dry pores and skin, particularly together with oils reminiscent of coconut or olive oil. It may well assist struggle irritation, cracking, wounds, boils, rashes, zits, bites and swelling on account of infections.
When you can’t discover chickweed salve in shops otherwise you desire to make your individual, a DIY model is easy to arrange.
- First take your greens (you need to use flowers, stems and leaves) and dry them on a countertop or in a basket for a day or two.
- Chop the greens up finely and canopy with additional virgin olive oil in a pan, heating on very low. Let the combination sit for a number of days at room temp, then pressure with a muslin material and retailer in a glass jar in a cool, darkish place.
- Use the oil in your pores and skin for as much as one yr, making use of it anyplace that’s swollen or irritated.
Making Chickweed Tea and Dosage Suggestions:
Whereas there’s no normal dosage advice for chickweed, most consultants suggest sticking to about one to 2 handfuls of recent leaves, stems and flowers per day or one to 3 cups of chickweed tea.
To make do-it-yourself chickweed tea, dry the greens first for one or two days. Use about heaping tablespoon per cup of scorching water.
Steep the greens in highly regarded (not boiling) water for about 10–quarter-hour earlier than straining. To help general well being, drink about two to 3 cups per day for a number of weeks at a time.
You possibly can eat chickweed both uncooked or cooked, very like different herbs, greens and sprouts. Listed here are some methods it’s utilized in recipes:
- Combine it with different greens, reminiscent of spinach or kale in a salad.
- Add a handful to a sandwich or wrap.
- Substitute it for Swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens, spinach, and so on., in your favourite dishes.
- Bend some into smoothies, pestos and sauces.
- Add it to eggs, omelettes, frittatas or quiches.
- Attempt some in pasta sauces, soups and stews.
- Frequent chickweed (Stellaria media) is a plant that grows in cool climates all through the U.S. and Europe. It’s a nutrient-rich plant that could be a good supply of antioxidants, nutritional vitamins A and C, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and extra.
- What’s chickweed herb good for? Potential chickweed advantages embody preventing irritation and oxidative stress, reducing ache and swelling, supporting intestine and digestive well being, supporting pores and skin well being, and having pure diuretic results.
- Practically all components of the frequent chickweed plant are edible, together with the stems, leaves, flowers and seed pods. You possibly can eat these greens each uncooked or cooked, reminiscent of in salads or steamed similar to spinach/kale.