Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Parts used and where grown: The ubiquitous, small, green chickweed plant grows across the United States and originated in Europe. The leaves, stems, and flowers are used in botanical medicine.
In what conditions might chickweed be supportive?
Â¥ insect stings and bites
Historical or traditional use: Chickweed was reportedly used at times for food.1 Chickweed enjoys 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.
Active constituents: 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.2
How much should I take? Although formerly used as a tea, chickweedÃ•s main use today is as a cream applied liberally several times each day to rashes and inflammatory skin conditions (e.g., eczema) to ease itching and inflammation. As a tincture, 1-5 ml per day can be taken.
Are there any side effects or interactions? No side effects with chickweed have been reported.
1. Duke JA. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 458-9.
2. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum, 1988, 265.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.