Completely ignored by ancient herbalists chickweed received its Latin name, Stellaria, from the Swedish botanist Linnaeus, who noted the starlike shape of the delicate white flowers. The flowers open on sunny days, but they may close on rainy or cloudy days.
Historically herbalists have used chickweed to help support both internal and external inflammations. They still prescribe it today for that purpose although its effectiveness has not been scientifically proved. Claims have also been made for chickweed as an antitussive (helps support coughing), but again, these too have not been proved.
General Herb Information
How the humble herb chickweed could stir up such a storm of controversy is difficult to imagine. But some herbalists swear by this extremely common weed as a supportive for both internal and external inflammations and for colds, coughs, hemorrhoids, sore eyes, and joint pain, while others in the field dismiss chickweed as nearly worthless - distinguished only by its promiscuity as a weed. Even in the animal kingdom, opinions about chickweed vary. Chickens, hogs, and rabbits dote on its succulent, pale green foliage and tiny seeds, but it is said that sheep disdain it and even goats will not touch it.
In truth, chickweed is a useful herb. It does contain nutrients and has long been prescribed by herbalists as a tonic to restore the strength of the frail and sickly Capable of producmg five generations of offspring in a single season, chickweed invades lawns and fields to the dismay of gardeners and farmers but the delight of cooks, who relish it as an herb and an almost year-round source of salad greens.
Range: Native to Europe, but found throughout the temperate regions of North America.
Identification: An annual herb, chickweed grows 12-15 inches high; its sprawling, tangled stems reach up to 21/2 feet in length. From each stem node grow pairs of oval leaves that vary in size. White flowers (February-December) 1/4 inch across, with usually five two-parted petals that are shorter than the sepals, are followed by oval seed-bearing capsules.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."