Updated: Mar 10, 2021
So I have my trusty bag and I am in the right place, today I am wildcrafting chickweed, or Stellaria media. A beautiful little plant that most would remove but has so many medicinal qualities.
When you are wildcrafting medicinal plants you need to think about where you are obtaining them from, what is around the area. Are there cars or any other sort of machinery that could pollute the plants you are after. Also be mindful of Councils that spray weeds and farmers that use chemicals on their farms. Once you have found an area growing the plant that you are after, you need to be sustainable in your wildcrafting. What I mean by this is do not pick it all so there is none left to seed and regrow for next year. Many medicinal plants have been harvested to the endangered list and are now very very scarce, it is important that you take some and leave enough to regrow.
Another important thing to note when you are wildcrafting is that you pick the plant that you are after. In other words you need to know your plants and their features because you do not want to pick a plant that looks similar but could make you unwell. Chickweed is a small plant, as I have said before most people consider it a weed, it is very common in lawns, meadows, waste places and open areas. It has egg shaped leaves with pointed tips which are opposite each other, a weak stem and it can be identified by the line of fine hairs down one side of the stem. The flowers a
re small and white with five petals. The plant is most prevalent between autumn and spring in Australia and thrive in the wet coolness of winter.
If you look closely at the picture you can see the fine hairs down the stems.
A massive patch of chickweed on the walk that I went on and wildcrafted. Once you are know what you are looking for you will see chickweed everywhere.
On a side note, weeds are amazing and often over looked. Alot of them can be eaten and alot have great medicinal value, we have just forgotten how they w
here used. Connecting with the traditions of our not so distance ancestors can lead to amazing insights and information which reminds us of how easy it is to look after oneself from our own gardens. It can be empowering to create your own simple medicines that helps your family and friends be well.
Why do that, because chickweed is high in vitamins and minerals and as a cream can be applied to irritated itchy skin, red and inflamed skin, wounds, bites and scratches. You don't have to make a cream with it as it can be used as a poultice and applied straight on the area. Traditionally the plant was eaten in salads, and the juice of the plant taken internally to prevent scurvy. There are many uses for this small plant that we now call a weed, energetically it is a cooling plant, that soothes and heals.
So next time you find it in your garden, do not pull it out, think about cultivating it as a plant that could be very useful to your health.
This is the end result of wildcrafting chickweed, Chickweed and Frankincense Cream, for red and inflamed skin, itchy skin rashes, nappy rash, soothing bites and scratches as it has a cooling and drying effect on the skin.
You can make you own Chickweed Salve to use at home to have on had when needed.
- 2 large handfuls of fresh chickweed
- 1 1/4 cups of olive oil
- 28gms of bees wax
- 30-50 drops of lavender essential oil - optional
Chop the fresh Chickweed, arrange into a thin layer on baking paper and allow to wilt for 12-24 hours.
After 12-24 hours, measure our 1 1/4 cups of olive oil and add the wilted chickweed to the olive oil.
Blend the Chickweed, olive oil in a blender for 15-20 seconds or until they are well combined.
Place the chickweed, olive oil blend in to a double boiler, or in a bowl on top of a pan that has water in the bottom ( the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl)
Bring the water to a boil and then let simmer, stirring occasionally until the oil is warm to touch.
Turn off and let sit for several hours.
Repeat this process, heating and cooling over the next 24 hours. This is so the plant constituents are extracted into the oil. Be careful not to let the oil get too hot so are to 'fry' the plant material.
When the plant material is infused enough, the olive oil will have a distinctive green colour
After 24-48 hours strain the chickweed, oil mixture through a double layer of cheese cloth.
Measure out 1 cup of the infused oil
Measure the beeswax
Using the double boiler method melt the beeswax, the smaller your beeswax is cut the easier it will melt
When the beeswax is fully melted add the chickweed defused oil and combine on a very low heat.
Add the Lavender essential oil
immediately pour into tims or glass jars.
Let the Chickweed salve cool until it hardens. Label and store in a cold place.