The other day I had a friend round for coffee to chat Morning Gorgeous ideas and while I was apologising for the state of the garden, my friend was over the moon that she had finally found some Chickweed! I was all for pulling it up as I thought it was a weed, but it would be more respectful to call it a common wildflower. After potting some for her to take home she asked me if I had been suffering from any itchy skin? Actually, during the winter months, I had had incredibly itchy shins, which were soothed by my Bee Cosmetic balm. Apparently, the herbs and plants in your garden can appear just when you need them. Chickweed has been used as a remedy to treat itchy skin conditions, so I’m going to try a balm from the knowing plants in my garden.
Common chickweed (Stellaria media), with its small white star-shaped flowers, is a hardy annual plant which flowers throughout the year in mild weather. It is edible and nutritious and can be used raw in salads. A valuable food source for insects it is also eaten by chickens (hence its name), wild birds, and mountain sheep. Chickweed does contain plant chemicals known as saponins, which can be toxic to some species (notably fish). It is unlikely that most land animals will be affected, as the quantities involved are not large, however it is not advised for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, if you’re thinking of popping it in your sandwich!
So instead of pulling all the Chickweed up from my raised bed I am going to keep some for harvesting when needed. You never know what is hiding in your garden which isn’t just a weed but something so much more. A weed is a pesky little plant in the wrong place, or is it? Don’t be too quick to dismiss.