Tea (Camellia sinensis)

Camellia sinensis is the plant that brings us tea in all its many colors and flavors. It has a fairly high level of caffeine, and plenty of antioxidants. It makes a great tea for...

Chickweed (Stellaria medica)


Chickweed Summary

Chickweed is a small herbaceous plant found growing throughout North America and Europe. It has naturalized on nearly every continent and thrives in colder climates.

Although there is not much modern research involving chickweed, it has a rich history in traditional medicine.

Chickweed was used internally for lung infections and irritations, and topically for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

The herb was mainly used as a Msuccas, or consumed whole in fresh form.


+ Indications

  • Constipation
  • Asthma
  • Lung disease
  • Obesity
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Skin ulcers
  • Insect bites
  • Gout

+ Contraindications

  • Skin irritation and allergies may occur from topical application.

Herbal Actions:

  • Demulcent
  • Refrigerant
  • Emollient
  • Antibacterial
  • Antitussive
  • Expectorant

How Is Chickweed Used?

Chickweed is used internally for lung conditions, including asthma, chronic bronchitis, or asthma. Topically, it's made into creams and salves for skin irritations. This can include psoriasis, eczema, skin ulcers, or rashes. It's also consumed as a food in many Northern climates where it grows naturally.


Herb Details: Chickweed

Weekly Dose

Part Used

  • Aerial Parts

Family Name

  • Caryophyllaceae


  • Found on every continent on earth except Antarctica

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Constituents of Interest

  • Carotenoids
  • Linalool
  • Caryophyllene
  • Borneol

Common Names

  • Chickweed
  • Starweed
  • Alsine Media
  • Passerina
  • Mouse Ear Star
  • Satinflower
  • Starwort
  • Stellaria
  • Winterweed


  • Unknown


  • Cold


  • No adverse effects expected.


  • Unknown

Duration of Use

  • May be used long term.

Botanical Information

Chickweed is known for its creeping nature, and ability to grow in very cold weather. It's even been found growing underneath the snow in mountainous regions of North America.

Chickweed is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family, which contains as many as 2625 species distributed into 81 genera.

The Stellaria genera itself contains between 90 and 120 different species.


Research Overview:

Still compiling research.


Clinical Applications Of Chickweed

There is little research on chickweed — however, it was shown to have high levels of carotenoids and a handful of antibacterial compounds like caryophyllene, menthol, and linalool.

Chickweed also contains saponins — which are thought to have a soothing effect on the skin. This is likely the mechanisms behind chickweeds popularity as an ointment for skin inflammation and infection.

For this application, chickweed is generally used as a fresh succas or made into salves, oils, and creams.

The traditional use for lung conditions is thought to be due to the saponin content, which is well known to have mucus membrane irritant effects, promoting the excretion of mucus.



None noted.



Justin Cooke, BHSc

The Sunlight Experiment

(Updated November 2018)


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