In a sea of brown outside in the pastures and the garden there still is glimpses of green peeking through the leaves and the pine straw. You know those hardy weeds…really good weeds – CHICKWEED!!
By now, many of you know my favorite garden weed is chickweed. If you didn’t know that…now you do! There are salve orders to fill and I want to make sure all of my oils are infused and in the refrigerator for the winter so I can them readily available. I went out yesterday and collected a good size basket of chickweed.
There were some other cool weather greens popping up like purple dead nettle, creeping charlie, plantain of course and even though I planted yarrow, it grows wild too!
Here are some of the other green things – 🙂
I infused my beautiful chickweed into some extra virgin olive oil for about 3.5 hours in the crock pot on low, low, low. After straining it, it was so green and full of chickweed goodness!!! I just have to show you –
Now you may be wondering, “What the heck is chickweed used for?” Well here ya go – A Mongraph of Chickweed from me to you!
Chickweed – Stellaria media
Chickweed is found all over gardens, pastures and under some trees- creeping shallow roots provide a living mulch for other garden plants. Easily identifiable once you see, smell and taste it.
Description: Small vibrant, green, pointy, smooth leaves on a low growing stem and when in bloom has extremely tiny white star-like flowers.(Hence the name Stellaria media) Does not tolerate Georgia heat and it usually will disappear around early June and reappear in the fall.
All above ground parts are used and are medicinal and edible. No known toxicity but too much will act as a laxative.
Key constituents – Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, coumarins, saponins.
Medicinal – for all skin irriations and rashes ESPECIALLY eczema. Emollient and demulcent- very cooling, soothing and moisturizing.
For weight loss(see recipe), aid, eye wash, poultice, heals bleeding in the stomach and bowels, cat hair ball remedy, and I have heard somewhere but could not find back up that it helps with lowering cholesterol.
***oil infusion – take 1 cup of fresh wilted(overnight) chickweed tops and chop. Add to top of double boiler or in a crock pot, cover with approximately 16 ounces of cold pressed olive oil. Heat uncovered for 30-60 minutes on low heat, low simmer(double boiler) or 2-3 hours crockpot(set on low first, then on warm). *IMPORTANT* Use a thermometer to keep the temperature between 100-160o. Do not let it go higher or it will be crispy chickweed.
Juice – blend a handful of chickweed with pineapple juice . Mild diuretic and metabolism-stimulating properties.
Poultice – Mash a handful of fresh chickweed tops into a pulp and blend with a tablespoon or two of water into a thick mash. Fold the mash into a cheesecloth and apply directly to the skin. Leave on for 30 minutes. Repeat until irritation/itchiness subsides.
Food of course!!! Here is the recipe for chickweed pesto.
chickweed profile – download this if you want it.
Oh and don’t let anyone tell you that you can use dried chickweed – it HAS to be fresh. Period.
Hope you have a beautiful day!