frame courtesy of cottagearts.net
I love spring because of the weeds. While the Sunday ads advertise weed killer/lawn herbicides, I am carefully scanning the ground for unsprayed weeds, hoping to make my next batch of herbal medicine. I've already counted four patches of dandelion in the front yard. Some Shepherds Purse was spotted by an electric pole, but I'll avoid that one, particularly since it's close to a busy street. While preparing my front herb bed Wednesday morning, I made my first spotting of chickweed for the season (as seen above). I was so proud of it that it took a coveted place in our spring planter.
Chickweed's scientific name is Stellaria media. I understand that its genus name comes from the fact that the flower is shaped like a star (stella). Chickweed has cooling and mucilaginous qualities. This can be particularly helpful in hot, dry and itchy conditions (think rashes, itchy eyes and arthritis). It can be made into a salve or prepared as a poultice. Chickweed can also be a nice spring tonic for digestion. It's excellent to add to salads, sandwiches, and green smoothies in the spring. It has a mildly sweet and salty flavor, and it is rich in many minerals and B vitamins.
So, I wait patiently...sort of. Within the next month, I'll be making some "weed" preparations and sharing my outcomes, so stay tuned.