Common Chickweed

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Edible Plants, Pacific Northwest

Chickweed, BC Coastal Region
Chickweed, Photo By Bud Logan

Common Chickweed is an annual herb, widespread on the coast of BC but they originated in the middle east. The plant has pioneered itself all over the world. They are as numerous in species as they are in region. Most have white flowers, and all have the same edible and medicinal uses. Did you know that every night the leaves fold over the flowers.

The cultivation of this plant is not necessary as it is abundant and easy to find. Gather fresh edible plants in May and July, as soon as flowers appear, it can be used fresh or be dried for later use as a herb.

Common Chickweed is edible and very nutritious, high in vitamins and minerals, can be added to salads or cooked as a pot herb, tasting somewhat like spinach. The major plant constituents in chickweed are ascorbic acid, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, and zinc.

Chickweed, BC Coastal Region
Chickweed, Photo By Bud Logan

The whole plant is used in alternative medicine. A concoction of the whole plant is taken internally as a circulatory tonic. It is also used to relieve constipation, an infusion of the dried herb is used in coughs and hoarseness, and is beneficial in the treatment of kidney complaints. It is now believed that it is an effective antihistamine.

The concoction is also used externally to treat rheumatic pains, wounds and ulcers. It can be applied as a medicinal poultice and will relieve any kind of Rosella and is effective wherever there are fragile superficial veins or itching skin conditions.

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