What is Chickweed?
Other names: Stellaria media, starweed, mouse ear, satinflower, tongue grass
Chickweed is a plant native to Europe. It grows across North America as a common weed. The parts used medicinally are the leaves, stems and flowers.
NUTRITION: Chickweed is an excellent source of vitamins A, D, B complex, C, and rutin (an accompanying flavonoid), as well as iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, sodium, copper, and silica.
Chickweed comes in capsule, liquid extract, tincture, tea, ointment, oils and dried herb forms. In alternative medicine, it's used primarily as a topical cream or ointment.
Why Do People Use Chickweed?
Chickweed has been used in folk medicine for skin conditions, indigestion and a variety of other conditions, such as cough, rhematoid arthritis, psoriasis, stomach ulcers and as a "blood cleanser".
Today, chickweed is rarely taken internally. It's more common as a topical remedy for skin conditions such as:
Rashes, burns, chapped skin
Inflammatory skin conditions:
Insect bites, stings, wounds
Side Effects and Safety:
Side effects may include contact dermatitis after skin contact with the herb. People with allergies to the daisy plant family may also react to chickweed.
Chickweed should not be used internally by pregnant or nursing women or children.
Chickweed contains nitrate. If you experience symptoms of nitrate poisoning after taking chickweed, call your health care practitioner. Symptoms may include weakness, headache, fainting, bluish fingers and lips and dizziness.
There have been case reports of muscle paralysis from very large oral doses of chickweed. These case reports, however, appear to have been isolated reports.
Chickweed has a reputation as treating a wide spectrum of conditions in folk medicine, ranging from asthma and indigestion to skin diseases. Traditional Chinese herbalists used a tea made from chickweed for nosebleeds.
The active constituents in chickweed are largely unknown. It contains relatively high amounts of vitamins and flavonoids, which may explain some of its effect. Although some older information suggests a possible benefit for chickweed in rheumatic conditions, this has not been validated in clinical practice
Herb Pharm's Chickweed/Stellaria media
Nature's Answer's Chickweed Herb