Scientific name: Stellaria media
Common names: Adder’s mouth, Indian Chickweed, Starweed, Starwort, Satin Flower, Tongue Grass, Stichwort, Winter Weed
Ayurvedic names: Morolia-sak, Thothani-sak
Arabic names: عشب الطير (O’shbu at-tayr)
Rain Forest names:
Approximate number of species known:
Common parts used: Whole plant
Collection: A common weed which is collected all year round. Grows more rapidly in the summer.
Height: 4 to 12 inches
Actions: Alterative, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, demulcent, discutient, emollient, laxative, mucilage, refrigerant, resolvant, vulnerary
Known Constituents: Saponins
Like the name implies, this is a nuisance weed in many parts. It can be eaten like food.1 Like most mucilage herbs its used to sooth, especially in the lung area.
A very powerful external remedy for skin problems, particularly when there is itchiness involved. Used internally particularly for rheumatism. It can bathed in for skin problems. The tea is used as a laxative in cases of bowel obstruction.1
Relatively high in iron, although herbs like Yellow Dock and Parlsey should be first choice.
Other names: starweed, star chickweed, alsine media, passerina
Latin name: Stellaria media
Common part used: herb
Chickweeds are an annual plant, distributed all throughout the world. They say there is no place in the world where this herb is not represented. Most probably it was carried on the clothes and shoes of explorers, and therefore the plant established itself in different countries, in different continents. Most probably it is native to the temperate and arctic zones.
The stem of the plant is weak, lying on the ground and spreading out in this position. It is fleshy and pale green in colour. The leaves have an oval shape, very smooth and pale green in colour as well. They are arranged along the stem in pairs.
The flowers are small, white and in the shape of little stars. They are situated on the axils of the upper leaves and appear singly. The flowers bloom during all the spring and summer months, and remain till late autumn as well. They open in the morning and do not close up to twelve hours straight.
A little capsule contains the seeds, which are easily shaken out when ripe.
In cooking, chickweeds are used sometimes for preparing various salads, they are cut just like spinach. The plant is rather nutritious and rich in vitamins and minerals.
As for medicinal uses, chickweeds plants are usually applied externally to soothe skin irritations, cuts, small burns, rashes and scratches. As a beverage, a chickweed infusion is great for cleaning and soothing the kidneys and urinary organs. It is also very beneficial if used as a remedy for rheumatism. In general chickweed water can be an excellent tonic with a long lasting positive effect.