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Chickweed

Chickweed

Uses

Botanical names:
Stellaria media

Parts Used & Where Grown

The small, green chickweed plant originated in Europe, but now grows across the United States. The leaves, stems, and flowers are used medicinally.

What Are Star Ratings?

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
1 Star
Eczema
Refer to label instructions
Topical preparations containing calendula, chickweed, or oak bark have been used traditionally to treat people with eczema.

Topical preparations containing calendula , chickweed , or oak bark2have been used traditionally to treat people with eczema but none of these has been studied in scientific research focusing on people with eczema.

1 Star
Poison Oak/Ivy
Refer to label instructions
Chickweed has been used historically to treat skin inflammations such as poison oak and poison ivy.

A great many plants have been used historically to treat skin inflammations like poison oak and poison ivy dermatitis. Examples include calendula (Calendula officinalis), blood root (Sanguinaria canadensis), Virginia snakeroot (Aristolachia serpentaria), holy basil (Ocimum tenuifolium), and chickweed (Stellaria media). None of these remedies has been subjected to controlled clinical studies to determine if they are safe and effective for this use. Cooling essential oils, such as peppermint and menthol, have also been used topically to relieve burning pain and itch. Such oils should not be applied full-strength, but should rather be diluted (for example in lotion or gel) to avoid further skin irritation.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Chickweed was reportedly used at times for food.1 It enjoys a reputation in folk medicine for treating a wide spectrum of conditions, ranging from asthma and indigestion to skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis . It is sometimes used to alleviate itching secondary to insect bites.

How It Works

Botanical names:
Stellaria media

How It Works

The active constituents in chickweed are largely unknown. It contains relatively high amounts of vitamins (e.g. vitamin C ) and flavonoids , which may partly explain its effectiveness as a topical treatment for skin irritations and itching. Although some older information suggests a possible benefit for chickweed in rheumatic conditions, this has not been validated in clinical trials.3

How to Use It

Although formerly used as a tea, chickweed is mainly used today as a cream applied liberally several times each day to rashes and inflammatory skin conditions (e.g., eczema ) to ease itching and inflammation.4 As a tincture, 1/4–1 teaspoon (1–5 ml) per day can be taken three times per day. Two teaspoonfuls (10 grams) of the dried herb may also be drunk as a tea three times daily.

Interactions

Botanical names:
Stellaria media

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Botanical names:
Stellaria media

Side Effects

At the time of writing, there were no well-known side effects caused by this supplement.

References

1. Duke JA. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 458–9.

2. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenberg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1988, 328–9.

3. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum, 1988, 265.

4. Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1988, 64–5.

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