Herbal Ally - Chickweed is a Star
an article by Susun S. Weed
and crocus flowers herald the spring. And if you
look in between them, with luck, you'll see a bright
green creeping plant low to the ground with little
white starry flowers: chickweed, a good friend of
say she's a star, because her botanical name - Stellaria
media - means little stars. And because she really
stars at helping us when we need to gently dissolve
something or to cool off inflamed tissues. Chickweed
not only effects physical health, she is a psychic
healer too. She opens us up to cosmic energies and
gives us the inner strength we need to handle those
contains soapy substances, called saponins. Saponins,
like soap, emulsify and increase the permeability
of cellular membranes. When we consume chickweed those
saponins increase our ability to absorb nutrients,
especially minerals. They also dissolve and break
down unwanted matter, including disease-causing bacteria,
cysts, benign tumors, thickened mucus in the respiratory
and digestive systems, and excess fat cells.
you heard me correctly, drinking chickweed infusion
can eliminate fat cells. I put one ounce of dried
herb (I weigh it) in a quart jar and fill it to the
top with boiling water. I cap it tightly and wait
for at least four hours, then strain and drink it,
hot or cold, with honey or miso. What I don't consume
right away, I store in the refrigerator. A quart a
day is not too much to drink, but even two cups a
day can help you shed those unwanted pounds. (Do remember
though that subcutaneous fat, the kind you can pinch,
is healthy for women, so don't get too thin.)
ability to break cells open helps it get rid of bacterial
infections when applied as a poultice. It is every
mother's favorite for dealing with children's eye
infections (pink eye). I crush a small handful of
the fresh herb until it is juicy, then apply it directly
to the troubled eye or infected wound, covering the
chickweed with a small towel to keep it in place.
I leave the poultice until the chickweed heats up,
which indicates to me that bacteria are dying. Then
I remove the poultice and throw the plant material
away. It is critically important to use fresh chickweed
for each application so bacteria are not reintroduced.
Generally symptoms will at least start to go away
after the first application, but using several more
chickweed poultices, once or twice a day for several
more days, will insure full healing.
beautiful star is superb at dissolving cysts and benign
tumors. She especially shines when it comes to getting
rid of ovarian cysts. Since many doctors, frightened
of ovarian cancer, are fast to suggest surgical remedies
for ovarian cysts, having a safe and effective green
ally can save us from major surgery. Using chickweed
to dissolve a cyst or benign tumor is a slow process,
and requires consistency. It also requires chickweed
tincture made from fresh, not dried, plant material.
You can buy the tincture already made. Or make you
own: Fill any jar, large or small, with fresh chopped
chickweed and 100 proof vodka. Wait six weeks and
it's ready to use. A dropperful of the tincture taken
2-3 times a day for 2-16 months is the usual course.
have seen chickweed dissolve ovarian cysts as large
as an orange. One women used it to get rid of a dermoid
cyst (which contains hair, bones, teeth, and fingernails);
for that, she combined the chickweed with motherwort
(Leonurus cardiaca) and cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris)
tinctures in equal parts. These three plants together
are an ancient Chinese remedy for many "women's problems."
loves the cool weather of spring and autumn; she hides
when summer's sun is high. This gives her a great
ability to cool things off for us when we are overheated.
I believe that sub-clinical inflammations are responsible
for many of the chronic problems we have, including
joint pain, digestive upsets, blood vessel disease,
memory problems, and even some cancers. Regular use
of chickweed takes the heat out and allows optimum
with "hot" bladders - such as those interstitial cystitis,
chronic cystitis, or a bladder irritated by childbirth
or abdominal surgery - adore chickweed. She soothes
and cools, removes bacteria, and strengthens the bladder
wall. What a star!
don't wait for a problem to get to know chickweed.
She is delicious and ever so happy to jump into your
salad bowl and share her star qualities with you.
is loaded with nutrition, being high in chlorophyll,
minerals - especially calcium, magnesium, manganese,
zinc, iron, phosphorus, and potassium - vitamins -
especially C, A (from carotenes), and B factors such
as folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine.
wonder old-time herbals recommend chickweed for "convalescents,
weak children, the anemic, and the old". Chickweed
infusion is also a blessing for those recovering from
surgery. (Tinctures are not nutritious.)
going to grab my scissors and my basket and go outside
and pick a bunch of chickweed and make this yummy
spring salad: 4 cups fresh chickweed, 2 cups fresh
watercress or miner's lettuce, 1 cup fresh flowers,
such as violets, and 2 tablespoons of finely-chopped
wild chives. I dress it with olive oil, tamari, and
whatever herbal vinegar strikes my fancy, or just
plain apple cider vinegar.
There's lots more information on the little star
lady chickweed in my book Healing Wise. It's green,
like chickweed, like the blessings the Earth offers
us so freely. So, grab your scissors, and go harvest
some chickweed for dinner tonight. You'll make a
new friend who can really help when times are tough.
PO Box 64
Woodstock, NY 12498
Visit Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com and www.ashtreepublishing.com
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Susun S. Weed is the author of four highly-acclaimed
books on herbs and women's health: Wise Woman Herbal
for the Childbearing Year, Healing Wise, New Menopausal
Years the Wise Woman Way and Breast Cancer? Breast
Health! the Wise Woman Way. Ms. Weed lectures world-wide
on women's health and herbal medicine. From her
home in New York State's Catskill Mountains, she
directs the activities of the Wise Woman Center,
acts as editor-in-chief of Ash Tree Publishing,
personally oversees the work of 400 correspondence
students, and trains herbal and shamanic apprentices.
Susun has lived the simple life for nearly 40 years
as an herbalist, goatkeeper, homesteader, and feminist.
She has been called "a true radical - deeply rooted,"
"a modern pioneer," and "one of the founding mothers
of herbal medicine in the United States†.