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erbal Medicine Materia Medica


© David L. Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH

Stellaria media


Habitat: A common weed, it grows everywhere in moist places and frequently in gardens.

Collection: This common `weed' can be collected in spring, but may be found throughout the year.

Part Used: Dried aerial parts.


  • Saponin glycosides
  • Coumarins and hydroxycoumarins
  • Flavonoids
  • Carboxylic acids
  • Triterpenoids
  • Vitamin C, about l50-350mg per l00g.
Actions: Anti-rheumatic, vulnerary, emollient.

Indications: Chickweed is commonly used as an external remedy for cuts, wounds and especially for itching andirritation. If eczema or psoriasis causes this sort of irritation, Chickweed may be used with benefit. Internally it has a reputation as a remedy for rheumatism.

King's Dispensatory gives the following uses: "Chickweed appears to be a cooling demulcent. I have seen the fresh leaves bruised and applied as apoultice to indolent, intractable ulcers of the leg, of many years standing, with the most decided and immediately beneficial results; to be changed 2 or 3 times a day. In acute ophthalmia, the bruised leaves will likewise be found a valuable application. An ointment, made by bruising fresh leaves in fresh lard, may be used in many forms of cutaneous disease. A tincture of Stellariamedia has been extolled in some quarters as a remedy for rheumatic pains of a fugative and shifting character.

Combinations: Chickweed makes an excellent ointment when combined with Marshmallow.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoonfuls of dried herb and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. This may be drunk three times a day. Fresh Chickweed may be made into a Green Drink by placing a handful of the fresh plant into the blender with pineapple juice, blend and strain. To ease itching, a strong infusion of the fresh plant makes a useful addition to the bath water.

About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary......more
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