Have you seen this plant?
You may recognize it from dark and shady areas in your yard. You may have even pulled some recently while weeding! But wait! This is chickweed, and there are some things you should know before you pull any more.
Did you know…?
Chickweed is edible, and surprisingly tasty. It has a light peppery taste, as long as you pick it when it’s young, and is very tender. Our Account Specialist Lindsay loves it in a pita! Sources tell us that it is high in vitamin C and also contains vitamins A, D and B as well as iron, calcium and potassium. And if herbalist Susun Weed is correct, it also contains saponins, which emulsify (like soap!) and increase the permeability of cellular membranes, which in turn increases our ability to absorb nutrients. We think that is very cool!
Chickweed is also said to be very useful when used medicinally. Topically, it is said to reduce swelling and inflammation (helpful for bruises and insect bites or stings), and help with any inflamed or itchy skin condition. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association features a great piece on their website that lists the purported benefits of chickweed in great detail. If you are harvesting the herb fresh for medicinal reasons, this is a wealth of information!
We have had a rainy summer in Calgary, which has provided the perfect conditions for chickweed — it loves cool, moist weather and you’ll likely find it growing in the shade somewhere near your home.
Here at All Things Jill, we use chickweed in a dried form to infuse our Ouch oil, which creates the base for both our TREK Ouch! Balm and Jack Shaving Ouch Balm, our Chic Puppy Barkin’ Good Paw Salve, as well as all our lip balms. We really think this common “weed” is something to be thankful for!