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Spring Sprung Early and it's Time to Pick Chickweed!
By the way, it is called chickweed because chickens love it. I use to feed it to my sweet little chickens all the time. They would just go crazy for it. Yum Yum Yummy!
I use to adopt elderly chickens. Farmers would often discard older birds because they stopped laying eggs, like a sort of chicken menopause (minus the need for copious amounts of chocolate, wine and Nana Mouskouri). I felt like my chickens were rescued pets and I loved them with or without their little golden eggs. Go ahead and call me a softy, it is true. Chickens lay eggs for around 3-5 years, then they just sort of run out. I guess old gals are not any good for eatin' either because the farmers didn't seem to want to keep them. That's when I would jump in and invite the hens to live out their wild years, happy and free on my farm (sit on the front porch in a rocking chair and endlessly repeat stories about the good old days, that sort of thing). In wild flocks, there is a natural culling that happens to the old, sick and slow birds and, though my flock was anything but wild, they seemed to fit in nicely. After a while they would magically start laying again! I guess all that fresh air, delicious wild chickweed and other herbal edibles, clean living, and stress free lifestyle was a great retirement boost helping to give "Stella" her groove back! You go girl!
Chickweed is such an adorable weed
Did you know it can help you predict the weather! Its leaves fold up when it’s going to rain and leaves also fold up at night. Cute, right?! Just like me, chickweed prefers to sleep in. Its blossoms open late in the morning.
Chickweed grows in a wide variety of areas. It is one of the most common weeds found in lawns but it also grows well in deciduous forests. I often find it in moist areas near damp woodland pathways.
Chickweed leaves are used by adding them raw to salads and sandwiches- YUM. They can be tossed into soups and hot dishes as well. SO EASY. Unlike most weeds you can eat the entire plant, stems and flowers can be eaten also.
Chickweed has a couple cousins that look similar but are NOT edible. Do not eat if it has a milky sap! That's not chickweed! Edible chickweed should have an elastic inner part that will stretch and stay attached when you twist the stem apart gently. Here is a good photo of the sweet teeny weeny white flowers.
Medicinal Properties & Making Herbal Medicines:
Chickweed is best known for its ability to heal the skin. Such as bacterial infections, minor burns, lesions, acne, wounds, eczema, insect bites and other sore itchy skin conditions. Chickweed is a fantastic herb to grab fresh and apply as a poultice. Next time you are on a walk with a friend who has a sunburn or eczema, snatch a bit of chickweed, tell them to chew it for a minute then apply it directly to the skin as a poultice. It works great!
Gentle enough to be used on children and in the eye for infections; like the dreaded pink eye. The medicinal properties of this common garden weed make it a popular ingredient in salves and lotions. It is one of my very favorite herbs to pick and use fresh in my Earth's Herbal Wild Herb First Aid Salve or tattoo aftercare Slave!
Topical application of chickweed is very effective and this herb does well using the heat infused herbal oil technique. Using the oil in salves and ointments is a great choice for making medicine because chickweed combines well with other herbs. Chickweed soothes, cools, removes bacteria and strengthens the cellular wall wall of the skin.
It is also a great herb for women. Use chickweed for cystitis, chronic cystitis, or a bladder irritated by childbirth or abdominal surgery. Make a strong chickweed oil, rub onto the abdomen, then apply a hot water bottle for an effective treatment to dissolve cystitis (add castor oil to your oil blend after heating). Fresh herb teas are great for bladder infections and any kind of internal skin repair. As well, tea can be used as an eye wash or rinse for wounds. A poultice of chickweed is fantastic for burns, cuts, sore itchy areas and acne. Just give it a try, chickweed might be the next big fad in Hollywood. It makes a great face mask of green herbal slop and it really works! Herbal Salves are best for eczema or larger exterior skin surfaces. Chickweed has also been used successfully for weight loss. Try making a decoction in a large mason jar of fresh chopped herb. Brew it into a strong tea by steeping for 4 hours in the sun, drink daily - add honey or miso for flavor.
For the best medicinal harvest of chickweed you want to pick the herb while it is in the newly budded stage. I find this to be just at the beginning of spring, end of winter in Victoria BC. It may vary depending on the climate. This is when it's at its freshest, yummiest and the medicinal content will be at its highest because its energy has not been completely funneled into the flowers yet.
I like to pick it in the morning. Not only does chickweed feel like a little morning herb to me but chickweed also wilts easily so picking it when it is still covered in early morning dew drops or plump from a previous rain is the best time to harvest it for freshness. Chickweed can be collected all year round in many climates. I know I see it most of the year here in Victoria, BC. Chickweed does not dry very well, so a preferred method is to use it fresh in ointments, tinctures or vinegars. That said, I think I may have perfected my technique for drying chickweed and have been getting great results. Let me know if you want my secrets!
Happy herb hunting.
Please feel free to comment if you want to know more about making medicine using chickweed. I am happy to teach you.
It is hard to describe the taste of chickweed. It is very palatable. It is not bitter, sour or tart. It tastes refreshing! To me it can be best described like a kind of watery corn silk when raw, if you’ve ever tried that. When cooked it is similar to spinach, though the texture is different and it has a much lighter flavor. It doesn't have that annoying astringent squeak when you chew it and it is not as high in minerals as spinach so it doesn't have that iron taste. Much like spinach, chickweed can be added to soups, stews, quiche, and more. However, it can bother people who suffer from allergies to daisies.
I haven't been getting my share of fresh foods. Winter is often like that so I am excited that Spring is on the way. It seems everything I've been eating lately has either been cooked to death or is dehydrated, or processed, and my body is craving fresh, live food. I was delighted yesterday when I noticed all the chickweed happily growing abundant this year! I thought to myself, "time to get my juicer out from the cupboard for making juice and tonight a healthy chickweed salad for dinner sounds ideal!"
Chickweed Salad Recipe
2 cup chickweed leaves chopped
1 bunch scallions
1/4 sliced watercress
pinch of sea salt
3 tbsp. organic flax oil (or olive oil)
2 tbsp. Lavender balsamic vinegar
1/2 garlic clove diced
1 tblp pine nuts
Rinse and drain chickweed. Thinly cut watercress. Place in bowl.
Combine the oil, vinegar and garlic and pine nuts then toss through salad. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over and enjoy.
Serves one - two
Buttered Chickweed Recipe
4 cups chickweed leaves
one small white onion chopped very fine
Wash chickweed thoroughly. Place in boiling water. Cook only for a couple minutes, drain well. Melt a small amount of butter in a frying pan. Briefly sauté the onion then add chickweed. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and goat cheese.
Chickweed Breakfast Omelet
2 free range eggs
1 cup chopped fresh Chickweed leaves and stems.
1 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a bowl, beat the eggs fluffy, and stir in the chickweed and Parmesan cheese. Season with onion powder, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. In a small skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat, cook the egg mixture about 3 minutes, until partially set. Flold with a spatula, and continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes.
Happy February! Valentine Day is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to start planning what you want to do for the big day. I am a huge fan of any holiday that celebrates LOVE, so even if you don't have a hot romance in the works, you can still share the day with friends, family and most importantly LOVE YOURSELF.
A great way to love yourself is with our fabulous STROKE IT or NIPPLE GEL !! On sale until Valentines Day, use coupon code "2323" at checkout.
A dozen roses or a box of chocolates may be appreciated for a while, but if you really want your sweetheart to swoon, Lilith Moon Sex Shop is a great place to check out unique gift ideas for the loved ones on your list.
Other fun ideas? Here are 10 things I like to do to get ready for Valentine's Day.
Make a thoughtful note or card for your friends and family! . There is nothing quite as adorable as a handmade card. Especially if you are an adult, your friends will certainly appreciate the time and effort that went into it.
Make Pink Elephant Popcorn Balls!!! Here's how. Share them with friends!
Tell someone you love them and give them 3 reasons why.
Plan a Treasure Hunt. A good old fashioned treasure hunt is a wonderful idea for Valentine’s Day It's fun, unique, thrilling, and all the time you spend planning it shows your partner just how much they mean to you. Plus they’ll have a BLAST following all of your clues to the big prize.
Let your dog on the couch to snuggle with you for a day while you watch a movie.
Clean the bedroom! Sometimes I even re-arrange the furniture in the room to make it feel like a new. Small changes like that can be exciting. Often the bedroom can be a catch-all of clutter, rather than a sensual haven. Be sure to add fresh clean bed sheets. Take all the electronics out of the room and remove the novel that your partner is reading so they don't go to grab at it when they could be giving you kisses instead of reading.
ADD HERBAL SMELLS in the bedroom and around the house. Lavender and pumpkin pie (cinnamon) are two scents that are considered to be aphrodisiacs for men. Clean smells like cucumber, orange or Jasmine are said to be a turn-on for women. Find out what does it for you and your partner then subtly fragrance the home.
Try making your own room mist (below). Put a cute label on it like "Marco & Lily's Bedroom Mist" and give it to them as a gift. Let them be in charge of when and how much they want to spray.
Have you ever seen commercials for the clapper light switch? It was popular in the 80'. Though I still have yet to purchase one, I think they are marvelous. I often joke about it as I am falling asleep, too lazy to get up and turn off the lamp by the bed and afraid of loosing my comfy cuddle spot. Apparently they still sell The Clapper at Walmart and Canadian Tires. This might be my lucky year and finally treat myself for Valentines! There's nothing worse than having to get up out of a cuddle to turn off the lamp. This way you can stay snuggled in bed, turn off the lights with the snap of your fingers then fall blissfully asleep in the arms of your loved one.
Call someone you haven't spoken to in a while and tell them you were thinking of them. This always warms my heart and reminds me that the world is only as big as we make it. Friends are all around us.
MOST IMPORTANTLY>>> make sure you have purchased some Stroke It and Nipple Gel from Earth's Herbal Products!!!