Chickweed (Stellaria media) is an extremely hardy annual that flowers throughout the country during the entire year. Generally appearing in the fall, it is capable of thriving through winter storms in the far north and cannot be eradicated by most weed killers.
Reaching a foot in height with matted to upright stems, chickweed possesses egg-shaped lower and median leaves and stemless and highly variable upper leaves. The bright white flowers open under the sun, while typically gathering themselves together at night as well as on cloudy or foggy days.
John Heinerman states that chickweed “ranks beside herbs such as burdock root as being terrific blood cleaners” (p. 147). Chickweed capsules or a tea extract are effective in treating blood poisoning or tetanus caused by chemical dye or dirt within the bloodstream, carbuncles, boils, venereal disease, herpes sores, and swollen testicles and breasts. A salve made from freshly cut or powdered chickweed also provides relief for chronic itching and severe rashes.
Mike Tierra, a licensed herbalist based in Santa Cruz, California, notes in his book, Way of Herbs, that “chickweed is particularly useful for reducing excess fat, having both mild diuretic and laxative
properties” (Heinerman, 1996, p. 148). In a weight-reducing pro-gram, the plant can be ingested both in greens and as an herbal tea.