Chickweed, whose botanical name is Stellaria media, is a popular herb that has been used for ages in the home treatment of a number of medical conditions. It is known by different common names in the many places it is grown, such as alsine, Adder's mouth, clucken wort, passerina, chickenmeat, tongue grass, starweed and white bird's wye among several others. Chickweed is native to parts of Asia and Europe, though its medical benefits have spread its seeds to many other parts of the world. The low growing herb can be identified by its trailing green steps that stretch from 6 to 15 inches in length. It germinates all year round, remaining green even in winter.
Over the years, chickweed has become an extremely popular herb in the world of natural remedies. However, this does not mean you can just rush to start using it without getting familiar with its medical uses. Do not risk your health by using the herb for conditions that are yet to be tried and tested. Here are some of the medical uses of this herb:
- Skin conditions: Chickweed has been more than impressive when it comes to the curing of skin conditions. In fact, the herb is renowned for its healing and soothing qualities. Due to its high content of saponin, it is very effective in dealing with skin conditions and ulcerations such as erysipelatous and a string of cutaneous diseases.
- Chickweed has also been used medically as an external treatment for wounds, cuts, minor burns and abscesses. Skin irritations such as dryness, itching as well as irritations resulting from psoriasis or eczema.
- Common chickenweed, as it is also called, has been used medically as a decoction to treat kidney complaints, constipation and as a quick relief for the digestive system.
This herb contains any more benefits, which shall be discussed in a different section.
Dosage and Administration
Even if you know a friend or folk who is currently on chickweed medication, you should never attempt to copy their dosage. This is because the dose is likely to change from one user to another depending on the seriousness of the condition being treated. This is why you must always consult with a doctor prior to treatment. However, the recommended dosage is about 1-5 ml of the herbal tincture taken daily.
Chickweed isn't one of the complicated herbs when it comes to administration since it can easily be taken as a tea. All you have to do is add a cup of boiling water to 2 teaspoonfuls of dried herbs then steep for about 5 minutes. For best results, make sure the herb does not boil. Chickweed is also available in capsule form just in case you are not in a position to prepare the tea.
Even if you have the herb growing on your backyard, do not attempt to use it without understanding how it should be used. Chickweed roots are the most commonly used part of the herb. Some companies have even started manufacturing organic roots for patients. However, you can also use the aerial parts of Chickweed to prepare the herbal remedy.
Here are some additional benefits of this herb:
- Chickweed is rich in vitamins such as ascorbic acid (C), niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), beta carotene (A) and thiamine (B1). It also contains saponins ans minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, silica, phosphorous, potassium, selenium and manganese.
- Taken as a tincture or tea, chickweed is effective in the treatment of rheumatism. An infusion made from its dried or flesh leaves can also be added to bath water to reduce inflammation resulting from rheumatic pain.
- Crushed chickweed herbs have traditionally been used to relieve roseola, especially where fragile superficial veins are involved.
- Fresh chickweed can be eaten alongside summer salads.
- Chickweed has also emerged as a strong detoxifying agent. It is just as effective as burdock when it comes to the cleansing of blood.
Generally, chickweed is a very well tolerated herb in the human body. However, it may cause contact dermatitis. People with any kinds of allergies to plants from the daisy family could also react to the herb. The safe herb should only be used by pregnant and nursing mothers after serious consultations with a medical doctor.
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