Stellaria media (Chickweed)

Botanic Name

Stellaria media

Common Name

Chickweed, Starweed, Star Chickweed, Passerina

Family

Caryophyllaceae

Habitat

Damp, shady gardens, lawns, fields, waste laces. A native of temperate regions everywhere, chickweed is widely distributed in southern and eastern Australia, including Tasmania1

Parts Used

Herb

Constituents

Mucilage 3

Anti-inflammatory saponins 3

Actions

Anti-rheumatic 4

Vulnerary 4

Emollient 4

Soothing and Astringent 3

Carminative 5

Demulcent 5

Expectorant 5

Laxative 5

Refrigerant 6

Applications

Internal & external inflammation 1

As an external application to soothe, inflamed, erupted, and especially itchy skin conditions 3

Cuts, wounds, itching and irritation 4

Eczema and psoriasis 4

Rheumatism 4

Ointment for treating eye problems 6

Scurvy 6

Kidney disorders 6

Constipation 5

Coughs and hoarseness 2

Dosage

Medium Dose Herb

Infusion: 2 tsp in cup of boiling water tds

Ointment

1-5 ml tds (1:1 25%) 7

2-10ml tds (1:5 45%) 7

Combinations

With Althaea officinalis for ointment.

C/I Cautions

Can be safely consumed when used appropriately 8

There is one report of an alleged case of nitrate toxicity associated with Chickweed which resulted in a mild form of paralysis. The possibility that this event was due to environmental factors, such as harvesting from fields where synthetic fertilizers had been used, should be examined. 8

BHP S/I

Topical applications in pruritic skin conditions 7

References

  1. Readerís Digest, Magic and Medicine of Plants. Surry Hills: Readerís Digest, 1994.
  2. Grieve, M., A Modern Herbal, Tiger, Great Britain, 1994.
  3. Mills, S., The Complete Guide to Modern Herbalism, Thorsons, Great Britain, 1994.
  4. Hoffmann, D., The New Holistic Herbal, Element, Dorset, 1990.
  5. Lust, J., The Herb Book, Bantam Books, USA, 1974.
  6. Brockhampton Press, Guide to Herbal Remedies, Brockhampton Press, London, 1996.
  7. British Herbal Pharmacopoeia 1983. British Herbal Medical Association. 1989.
  8. McGuffin, M., Hobbs, C., Upton, R., Goldberg, A., American Herbal Products Association - Botanical Safety Handbook, CRC Press, 1997.