Chickweed is among the most common wild herbs and can be found growing throughout most of the world. You can use fresh chickweed to make soothing poultices for treating rashes, irritated skin, and minor burns, and the juice helps ease itching. Beyond its usefulness as a medicinal remedy, chickweed makes a tasty addition to spring salads.
Parts Used: Leaves and flowers
Precautions: Chickweed can have a laxative effect when eaten in large quantities. Be careful not to wildcraft in areas where fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide has been applied.
Identifying/Growing: You can probably find chickweed growing in your lawn, and it can be found in woods and meadows, too. This hardy little plant grows year-round in many places, fading only when temperatures are below freezing, and quickly reemerging with the slightest hint of warmth. It features tiny white flowers and oval leaves that emerge from low, slender stems averaging 4 to 6 inches long. Many people try to eradicate chickweed from their lawns, often unsuccessfully. You can encourage it to grow by raking a spot for it, wetting the soil, and spreading the seeds approximately 1⁄2 inch apart. Cover the area with a light layer of topsoil, mist it with water, and then leave it undisturbed until the plants establish themselves. Your chickweed will self-seed, and requires nothing in terms of maintenance.