Common Chickweed is considered a weed but learn how this safe salad herb can help you…
Grow it in your garden or forage it for your spring/summer salads – follow one of the many chickweed identification guides (loads on YouTube) and forage for this herb (or plant the seeds in your garden although be aware it can spread easily) then add it to your salad leaves for a mild and pleasant taste.
Make a chickweed pesto – Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive or sunflower oil, 2 cups of fresh chickweed, some lemon juice and salt to taste and 1/4 cup of parmesan (optional) to a blender to make a great pesto perfect on rice noodles with pine nuts and delicious.
Make a poultice – apply freshly washed and mashed chickweed to itchy/ inflamed, unbroken skin to soothe and cover with a thin cotton towel or muslin then leave for 10-30minutes. You can also gently cook the plants in water for five minutes before cooling and applying inside a muslin for longer treatments of up to 3 hours.
Make a tea – Place 2tsp fresh (or 1 tsp dried) washed chickweed leaves and flowers into 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. You can drink 2-3 cups a day.
Make a chickweed salve – Chop 2 large handfuls fresh chickweed and arrange into a thin layer on a baking sheet leaving for 24 hrs to wilt. Then add to 250ml olive oil and place in a blender. Place mixture in a kilner jar (with lid loose) and place jar in a pan half full of water and gently simmer for 3 hours. Strain mixture through a muslin and collect the oil (you can re-infuse this oil with a second batch of chickweed for extra strength). Put the oil in a pan on very low heat and add 25g of beeswax and very gently heat stirring until melted. Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil and place in glass jar. This can be used as a homemade skin salve and will keep for several months.