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Found almost everywhere and grows year round, even winter under snow. Most people think it’s an obnoxious weed, but it tastes good and is good for you. Whole plant is edible. Harvest young leafy stem tips, buds and flowers. Cut off and use the top 2 inches, not below that or it all be to fibrous and straw-like. Leaves and stems can be made into a tea, leaves and whitish flowers make a great salad. Chickweed is one of the best bronchial decongestants. Anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflamed lungs, bowels and stomach. Antioxidant, antihistamine, reduces sinus congestion, bronchitis, circulatory problems. Juice is antiseptic. Used to reduce body fat- especially cellulite, remove plaque from arteries, build nerve tissue, regulate thyroid, dissolve cysts and tumors, alkalize the blood, heal ulcers, remove old hard crusty dried mucus from the colon, neutralize toxins, stimulate lymph and glands, laxative properties, kidney issues, rheumatism. A complete B complex. Regulates intestinal flora. High vitamin C; ascorbic-acid, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin, zinc, copper, and Gammalinolenic- acid. Smooth stems to about a foot long, one row of tiny hairs growing in a row on one side of the stem, switching to other side at each pair of opposite, oval pointed leaves. Small white flowers with five petals so deeply notched that they look like ten petals. No milky sap in stem. Grind seeds into powder to add to meals, drinks, porridge and breads. Do not take if pregnant. TOXIC NEIGHBOR- Scarlet Pimpernel (Scarlet pimpernel)- often grows mixed with chickweed. Has square stem and orange or reddish flowers with 5 wide petals. Scarlet pimpernel has smooth stems while Chickweed has some small hairs along one edge and white flowers with what looks like 10 thin petals.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz