Those who have a garden will rarely need to buy this herb as it is a ready and often under appreciated volunteer; some consider it a troublesome weed. However, it is a protector in the garden ecology, a groundcover that protects the soil from drying out or from loosing the nutrients to the rain - especially through the winter months. Chickweed derived its English name from the notion that birds are supposed to like it, although some birds apparently have not heard of this rumour yet. However, the seeds are more attractive to birds than the herb. The Latin name is an allusion to the little starry, white flowers that cover fallow ground like a fall-out from the Milky Way. Chickweed is edible in its raw state and very good - especially the tender tops. They can be used like Alfalfa sprouts as garnish in salads.
Chickweed is an excellent cooling herb. It is most frequently prepared as a wash or poultice to soothe burns, dry and itchy skin, eczema and even boils. Old fashioned herbals give recipes for chickweed cooling ointments. Chickweed is recommended in all manner of inflammations from which it will quickly draw the heat. It can be applied to sore eyes or ears or used internally as well. Internally it is most recommended as a soothing cough remedy, especially for dry coughs. It can be added to the bathwater as a healing herb extract, e.g. for rheumatism or skin afflictions. As a tea it supports the digestion and has a reputation as a helpful herb to combat obesity.
Based on the fact that this herb is ruled by the moon most sources associate it with love and fertility and the ability to attract and maintain a relationship. It certainly soothes irritation and cools anger, which can definitely help in maintaining a relationship. Chickweed teaches humility and flexibility and may assist in healing emotionally sore spots. It protects the parts of the soul that are most sensitive.
Starweed, Star Chickweed, Chickenwort, Craches, Maruns, Winterweed.