Cancer, Water & the moon
Also known as chickenweed, winterweed, adder’s mouth or starwort, chickweed is commonly used for fidelity, love, and relationship spells. Spells for balance, protection, healing, and dreams can also benefit from chickweed’s energy.
It has associations with water, the moon, feminine energy, and the zodiac sign of Cancer. It is said to bring peace of mind and to raise your level of consciousness.
Native to Eurasia, chickweed has been used since Neolithic times. It is now found throughout the world, commonly in lawns. And it is often treated as weed.
It's funny how so many useful plants fall into the category of “weeds” just because they pop up where they haven't been purposely planted. Chickweed, alongside mugwort, nettles, dandelions, and many other incredibly useful plants, are often sprayed with chemical herbicides to remove them. It’s wild that anyone would want to be rid of any of these oh-so useful plants. But if you do choose to do so, hand weeding is generally pretty effective.
A member of the carnation family, there are several ‘chickweeds’ that are closely related, but these plants lack the medicinal properties of common chickweed or Stellaria media. Use caution when wildcrafting as they can be difficult to differentiate!
Chickweed is a fall or spring crop, as it only thrive in 50 and 60 degree weather. Extreme heat and cold will both kill the plant. It does best in full sun to part shade. And while picky about temperature and soil pH, chickweed can be found in a wide variety of places and spreads quickly— rather like a weed! The small white flowers are ferocious seed producers.
It can often be found growing under oaks. And it does well in containers.
Its stems grow up to a foot and half tall, however it creeps along the ground in dense patches.
Chickweed is a highly nutritious plant, but it does not store
well, which explains why it’s not really available commercially.
It is best fresh,as it quickly dries to a straw-like consistency.
The flavor is mild and it can be used in salads, sandwiches, pestos, my favorite, smoothies!
Paired with ginger, juice, and fresh fruit, chickweed smoothies are powerful little healing or protection spells.
Super nutrient dense, chickweed helps metabolism and soothes inflammation when eaten. Eat in moderation, as too much can cause considerable stomach upset.
Claims vary on it’s effectiveness in treating respiratory issues such as bronchitis and asthma. In general, there have been very few modern studies on chickweed’s medicinal properties. And despite hundred, or even thousands of years of use, this is actually quite common for many medicinal plants.
Medicinally, chickweed is used to soothe burns and skin conditions that are dry and itchy. It can be used fresh as a poultice or processed into a salve or lotion.
A hot bath infused in chickweed soothes itching, sore joints, arthritis, sore muscles, and more.
It can cause mild skin reactions in those who are allergic. Always use caution when testing new plants!
Magickally, chickweed is especially good for lunar rituals. Dry in bunches and hang for protection. It can be used in bath or sachet spells as well.
Chickens also love to eat chickweed! They’ll chow down on both the seed and the fresh greens. This may have contributed to how the plant got its name.