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Botanical name: Stellaria media.

Common names: Adders mouth, Indian Chickweed, Satin flower, Stichwort, Tongue grass, Winterweed, Scarwort.

Action: Demulcent, Refrigerant, Healing nutrient, Alterative, Mucilaginous, Pectoral, Resolvant, Discutient, Laxative, Carminative, Expectorant.
Constituents: Linoleic and silicic acids, saponins, rutin, flavonoids, iron, silicon, zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and Vitamins A, B complex and C.

Part used: The herb.

This herb is very valuable for smarting and burning of the eyes, conjunctivitis and styes. The eyes are inflamed and sore. An eye ointment made from chickweed with Eyebright and Rue, is a very effective combination remedy. You may combine this herb with both Rue and Eyebright seperately, if you wish.

Chickweed is an excellent herb for use when there is a dull frontal headache, especially occurring in the morning when awaking from sleep. Another indication for its use, is that, your patient will often have pain which is predominately om the left side. You will find that there is a general debility and lassitude. The patient is disinclined to work. The muscles of the neck are stiff and sore. The Daisy is another herb which is good for this condition, and in fact, these two herbs may be combined in an ointment for this condition.

For thirst, dry throat and mouth chickweed is excellent and for an ulcerated throat it has proven of great value. It has an effect on the thyroid gland especially whenthat organ is hypoactive. For goitre it is useful and is even better combined with the seaweeds, Kelp or Bladderwrack. For slimming it is used in the same way as for goitre.

For chronic complaints of the lungs and respiratory organs it has great value. It is of value in all Chest troubles, inflammation of the lungs, bronchitis, both chronic and acute, and asthma. A good indication fir its use in any of these conditions is, darting pains in the chest. Where there is a dry unproductive cough or blood in the sputum, chickweed is a well indicated remedy. Hard dry cough which produces a small amount of sticky tenacious sputum. It has been found useful for TB of the lung, whooping cough, haemoptysis, pleurisy, coughs, colds, hoarseness, and it has a great affinity for the bronchial tubes. It is soothing and healing to all of the mucous membranes of the body. Wherever there is dryness of the membranes Chickweed should be considered.

It is a herb of high nutritive value and is most useful for patients whose digestion is feeble. All of those people who are prone to indigestion should try eating a handful of the freshly gathered plant as one of the ingredients of a salad. It is an iron-rich herb and is most useful in anaemia. The following formula is very effective for patients suffering with digestive problems, and is made as follows: Take one ounce of Chickweed, one ounce of Slippery Elm bark, six ounces of Barley flour and a heaped teaspoonful of powdered Cinnamon. Mix the whole thoroughly. Place two or three teaspoonfuls in a cup, adding a little honey or brown sugar. Mix this all to a paste with a little cold water, then, fill the cup with hot milk. A cupful of this is a meal. It is a very valuable food for indigestion, gastritis, stomach inflammation, duodenal and stomach ulceration, and in all cases where the patient is recovering from illness or general debility. For those suffering from peptic (stomach) or duodenal ulcers, it is advisable to use this formula for the first week of treatment and consume nothing else except for beverages and other suitable remedies. Four meals of the mixture should be consumed each day. It should be eaten slowly for its best effect. Thorough mixing of the food is necessary, to obtain as smooth a paste as possible. Extra cinnamon, or fruit juices may be added to make the food more palatable.

If Slippery Elm is unavailable for the above formula, the inner bark of the common Elm may be used. And if the common Elm is not available, you may double the quantity of Chickweed. Likewise, if Barley flour is unavailable, then corn, wheat or any other grain flour may be substituted in its place. If you so desire, Chickweed alone may be used, fresh or dried. This formula will be found of benefit where there is stomach dryness, dyspepsia or colitis. The dry ingredients may be mixed and stored in a plastic bag or tin and kept ready in a Bug Out bag for a Survival emergency.

Chickweed can be employed for congested or swollen liver, especially where there are itching pains and where the liver area is sensitive to pressure. It can be used for hepatic torpor and hepatitis.

It is used for Kidney weakness, inflammation and pain in the Kidney region. Again, it is useful for pain in the small of the back where it is situated over the Kidneys. For intestinal troubles, intestinal inflammation and peritonitis it is a well indicated remedy.

For cases of serious constipation, inflammation or weakness of the bowels, for constipation when the bowels are completely obstructed, take three heaped tablespoonfuls of the fresh herb, boil in one quart of water down to one pint. Strain, and take a cupful warm every three hours, or more often, until the bowels move. It is very useful where there is bleeding from the bowel and colitis. Useful indications for its use in this area are, clay coloured stools and diarrhoea, small hard dry stool.

For anaemia, pale complexion and for, fatigue from overwork and stress, Chickweed is an excellent herb.

For swollen testicles, virulent ulcers, sores in the privy parts of men and women an ointment can be prepared. The ointment is also used for burning and itching of the genitals.

The remedy is useful for swollen lymph glands, elephantiasis and psoriasis. For sores and rashes, eczema, eruptions and inflammations. The list continues, bruises, irritations, boils, scalds, burns, erysipelus, tumours, piles, and all other kinds of wounds. In blood poisoning, it should be taken internally and a poultice made from the herb applied externally.

The fresh leaves make a very good cold poultice for indolent ulcers. Taken internally for all diseases of the skin, it is valuable followed by the application of the ointment.

In erysipeas, no matter how bad the pain and swelling, boil a handful or two of Chickweed and bathe the surface every half hour, and apply the ointment locally. Within a few hours the pain and swelling should be alleviated.

Chickweed tea is useful in rheumatism and is especially indicated when the pains tend to move about throughout the body. Stiffness of the joints, and parts sore to the touch is indicative of Chickweed. Another indication for this herb is that motion makes the pain worse. Enlarged, inflamed gouty finger joints and synovitis are relieved by it. Where there is a bruised feeling, Chickweed (greatly enhanced if combined with Daisy) is called for. Used for pains in shoulders and arms, rheumatism in the calves of the legs, sciatica, gout and rheumatic pains in different parts of the body.

It has been claimed, that it makes cramped and shrunken sinews pliable again. Valued for treating broken veins in the legs, convulsions and palsy have also been cured by this herb, although I have not used it for this purpose. The herb has also been found of value in the treatment of fevers.

Where there is dryness of any organ or mucous membrane, this herb will help by moistening the condition. It is a very valued remedy in lymphadenitis and as a lymphatic decongestant. Altogether a ver valuable herb to have growing in your garden.

4 comments to Chickweed

  • Grumpy Grandpa


    I’m very impressed with the versatility of this ‘weed’ and I’m particularly interested in its use in treating rheumatic conditions and one or two others. However, since I wouldn’t recognise it even if I tripped over it, I can only hope for its inclusion at the Scottish Meet next weekend!


  • fred

    That’s not that Japanese stuff is it?

  • Kenneth Eames

    Fred, It isn’t Japanese it’s a native plant of the UK. It’s use dates back hundreds of years, well before many of the foreign plants were introduced, although the Romans did introduce some plants. It’s very safe to use. These Materia Medica plants are native british after I’ve dealt with our native plants,then I will deal with plants from abroad but I will tel you when that happens. Kenneth Eames.

  • Highlander

    Thats a great, informative post Kenneth, thank you,..its certainly one to keep

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