What is Chickweed?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: [No name given]
Posted on: August 23, 1998

What is chickweed?

Chickweed is a medicinal plant and an edible green. It is a weed that grows in cultivated or disturbed soils where it does not have to compete against other native plants. It is often found in gardens and greenhouses in North America and Europe.

The above-ground parts of the plant are prepared as a decoction to treat constipation. A decoction is made by boiling the herb in water. The fresh leaves are used as a poultice to treat inflammation, ulcers, and eczema, itchy skin, psoriasis, boils. It is often blended with slippery elm and marshmallow to make ointments for skin problems.

The fresh leaves are very tasty and can be used in salads or cooked like spinach.

Being somewhat invasive, it is very easy to grow. The seeds are small so care must be taken not to plant too deeply; no more than 5 millimetres deep. Once established, it comes back every year without reseeding. It can be somewhat difficult to eradicate, so be sure to plant it where it can remain for years.

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