Chickweed

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Herbs
   

Chickweed
(Stellaric media)
A low-growing, soft plant that grows as a common weed. Can be used as a vegetable or as a salad green. The whole plant is used to treat cuts, and also to relieve itching caused by eczema and psoriasis. Chickweed is also reputed to be good for rheumatism.

Functions / Benefits
Treats cuts, relieves itching caused by eczema and psoriasis (a skin disease with red scaly patches). Rich in vitamin C. Cooling. Demulcent (forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane). Mild alterative (Alterative = corrects disordered bodily function).

Nutrients
Beta-carotene (Vitamin A pre-cursor)
B vitamins (B1/Thiamin, B2/Riboflavin, B3/Niacin)
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Bio-flavonoids (including glycoside rutin)
Coumarins/coumarines
GLA/Gamma-linoleic Acid (omega-6 essential fatty acid)
Minerals: calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, silicon, zinc.

Indications
Boils, varicose ulcers, varicose veins, inflamed joints, eczema, contact dermatitis, rashes, nappy rash, minor skin wounds.

Contraindications
None

Method and dose
Part used: leaf
External: Works particularly well as a lotion, ointment, and compress. To use as an all over body bath, tie chickweed in a cheesecoth and place it in the bath.
Internal: Taken internally, it helps soothe inflammation in the urinary system (eg. mild bladder infections, gastric and peptic ulcers). It also a good blood purifier by carrying away toxins. Internal use may also help to treat bronchitis, arthritis, and cold symptoms. You can take it like a salad, or tea.

Tea
Pour freshly boiled water on 2-3 teaspoons of fresh chickweed in a coffee mug. Steep for 10 minutes.

Note: It doesn't dry well, and will lose a lot of its therapeutic value when dried. Best taken/used fresh or made into a decoction.


   
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