I started the day by tending to the garden. This is my first spring in this house, so I was anxious to get my hands dirty and see what was out there and what needed to be done to get the area ready for planting. The sun was shining and the morning was warm, so I grabbed the rake and the spade and got to work.

As an herbalist, it’s a challenge to weed the garden. Dandelion, plantain, ground ivy – all have medicinal properties, and I pondered keeping some of them to cohabitate with the seeds that will be planted. There was one weed, however, that I wouldn’t cull: chickweed!

Chickweed was the first herb that captured my attention as I began to study herbs. I found it in the yard of a former house, and was prompted to learn more. I guess you could say it started me on my journey. So, I thought it apropos as I surveyed the garden area this weekend to see my little friend.

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is primarily an emollient, soothing and nourishing the skin. It is a cooling herb useful in treating burns, insect bites, etc. It is especially helpful with itchy irritation like hot spots. Herbalist Matthew Wood considers it useful for lipomas and fatty tumors, as it dissolves fat. Juliette de Bairacli Levy wrote that it possesses many of the properties of Slippery Elm bark. Welcome to my garden, Chickweed.


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