Chickweed for Chickens and Chicks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
If you are not lucky enough to have this volunteer “weed” popping up in early spring in your garden grow it! It is loaded with saponins that detoxify the human body. Chickweed, also known as chickenwort, is commonly found in many folks’ gardens and is properly considered invasive. Yet, it is a wonderful, nutritious spring tonic that grows quickly and is a good candidate for growing indoors in pots. A low-growing succulent that can spread out into extensive mats, it is a winter annual (I can pull back snow and find it green and juicy underneath) that produces tiny white flowers and fruit pods and slightly fuzzy stems. Flowers and sets seed at the same time. Chickens love it too (hence the name) so you can grow as fodder. I have patches of it all over my garden, and my chicks favorite afternoon treat is a handful pulled fresh.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is easy to grow – just broadcast over rich garden soil and keep moist until germination. Quick growing too – you will have a crop in less than a month! For we humans, simply pick, rinse and sprinkle the delicate sprays on your salads or add it to your juicing concoction. Or, dry for addition to any healing salve. It is especially soothing to psoriasis, eczema and poison ivy rash. Chickweed has been a valued medicinal for centuries, used to cure everything from mange, skin disease, bronchitis, arthritis and menstrual pain. But perhaps the historic use that peaks everyone’s interest today is that Chickweed water was an old wives’ remedy for obesity. I do not know if there is any scientific support, or ongoing study of this claim, but scientists are always the last ones to catch up! Right girls?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

RIGHT!

2 thoughts on “Chickweed for Chickens and Chicks

  1. Chickweed is wonderful. Great for relieving itching.

    Thanks for reminding me. I need to look up a recipe for a salve. Those summer bugs think I’m about the greatest dinner ever.

  2. I had no idea that chickweed was anything other than a weed! Not that I have a big garden, but I will be on the lookout for it. Thanks!

    (I also liked the little caption under the last photo… Cute!)

Leave a Reply