Is an annual herb with slender stems that are up to about a foot long. It has smooth stems with 1 row of tiny hairs growing in a row on one side of the stem that switches sides at each pair of opposite (oval with a point at the end) leaves. The flowers are small and white with 5 petals that are so deeply notched that they look like 10 petals. The flowers open mainly on sunny days. Chickweed likes to grow in moist shady soil in the cool/cold seasons of the year. The sap is not milky. Some people think it looks similar to the toxic sandwort.
Chickweed has a very mild taste but can be quite stringy; so cut the stems in short lengths and enjoy a fresh wild salad rich in iron and Vitamin C. It can also be cooked or used to make a chickweed bread
2 cups of chopped chickweed leaves and stems.
¼ cup minced onion
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey or fruit juice concentrate
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups wheat flour
¾ cup warm water
1 packet yeast
Sauté onion and chickweed until tender (not brown). Dissolve honey and yeast into the warm water and then the salt. Mix the yeast mixture with the sautéed chickweed and onions and slowly add the flour until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers Form into a ball and let it rise to twice its volume. Shape into loaves and let rise again. Bake at 375F for 40-45 minutes.
Chickweed has been used to treat bronchitis, coughs, colds, hoarseness., it has been used as a diuretic for kidney and bladder problems. Many herbalists use chickweed to help in weight control because they claim it dissolves fat deposits and faty tumors.
Externally, it is used in the form of a poultice or ointment and applied to boils, ulcers and abscesses. The fresh juice has also been used to dissolve warts and other skin growths.