Do you think that the chickweed in your garden is of no use? Do you always pluck it out and throw it in the bin? What if you were told that the plant is exceptionally nutritious and great for your health? You will be surprised to know that the succulent leaves of the plant are widely used in medicine. So why throw it? Enjoy the numerous chickweed benefits by including it in your diet.
What is Chickweed?
Chickweed is a herb native to Europe and Asia, commonly referred to as “snow in the summer” for its small white-star shaped flowers that bloom in the spring season and last autumn(1).
Chickweed Nutrition Facts
The plant is packed with essential nutrients like Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, beta-carotene, niacin, selenium, magnesium, zinc and copper.
Chickweed Benefits on Health
Chickweed herb is excellent for your overall health. Consuming it can benefit you in many ways. Below mentioned are some of the chickweed benefits on health.
1. Chickweed acts as an expectorant
Chickweed benefits those suffering from respiratory or sinus issues involving mucous membranes. It is because chickweed contains saponin which is known to aid in breaking the secretions from mucous membranes.
It soothes the membranes and expels the phlegm from the lungs and bronchial tubes, thus relieving you of various respiratory issues like asthma, allergies, itchiness, bronchitis, etc. It is also known to prevent the growth of bacteria that may cause tuberculosis.
2. Chickweed benefits you in lowering inflammation
Chickweed owing to its potent anti-inflammatory properties significantly aids in reducing the risk of various conditions caused due to inflammation like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and many more.
Studies show that chickweed not only exhibits anti-inflammatory properties but is also analgesic and effectively reduces the histamine level in the body easing the pain associated with inflammation. Chickweed benefits you by relieving the swelling and quickening the healing process. It is also known to strengthen the stomach lining and prevent stomach ulcers.
3. Chickweed speeds up wound healing
Chickweed is a powerful herb with strong antiseptic and antifungal properties. It effectively prevents various infection and promotes a speedy recovery. It has a strong cooling effect that soothes the inflamed skin due to eczema or several other skin conditions. The herb also exhibits cleansing properties and contains a high amount of chlorophyll which naturally purifies your blood and aids the liver in eliminating toxic wastes that can cause various skin conditions.
4. Chickweed benefits in weight loss
Chickweed works as a mild laxative and also has diuretic properties that help in flushing out the accumulated toxins from the body. It is also known to emulsify fat cells causing more fat to burn. Thus, chickweed benefits in weight loss. It is even used in medicine for treating obesity.
How to include chickweed in your diet?
Here is how you can include chickweed in your diet:
- Eat it raw: Add raw chickweed in your salad or sandwich.
- Make a sauce: Prepare a pesto or gremolata using chickweed.
- Sauté it: Lightly sauté the chopped chickweed and add it to egg dishes or pancakes.
- Add it to a broth: Make your soup and stews much more nutritious by adding in chickweed.
Following are the recipes that you can relish to enjoy the chickweed benefits.
This delicious Chickweed Pesto is a nutritious and healthy recipe that you must try.
What will you need?
- Three cups of chickweed (finely chopped)
- One-fourth cup of Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated)
- Half a cup of cashews walnuts or pine nuts
- Two to three garlic cloves (minced)
- Half a cup of extra virgin olive oil
- One tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
- One-fourth teaspoon of ground black pepper
- Half a teaspoon of salt
How to prepare?
- To a blender, add all the ingredients and process
- You will get a pesto of smooth consistency
- Pour it in a bowl and refrigerate
- Eat it within three to four days
Chickweed tea is a nutritious herbal concoction that can treat a number of ailments. Try a steaming cup of this aromatic tea to address an upset stomach or chest congestion.
What will you need?
- Two to three tablespoons of fresh chickweed herb. Alternatively, use two teaspoons of dried chickweed herb
- A cup of water
How to prepare?
For fresh chickweed:
- Add water to a saucepan
- Boil it
- Put fresh chickweed in a cup
- Pour the boiling water over the chickweed
- Stir and let the mixture infuse for about twenty minutes
- After that, strain the mixture
- Enjoy the hot cup of tea
For dried chickweed:
- Pour water in a saucepan
- Let it come to a boil
- After that, pour it into a cup
- Next, add dried chickweed to the cup
- Let it steep for about five minutes
- Then, strain the mixture and relish the tea
Side-effects of chickweed
Consuming chickweed in moderate amount is likely safe. However, you must stop taking it immediately if you see the following symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Skin hives or rashes
- Breathing troubles
Also, you must stay away from it or consult your doctor in the following cases:
- While you are taking medications
- When You are allergic to some medications
- You are pregnant or are breastfeeding
Chickweed is indeed a nutritious herb and contains potent properties that aid in treating various health conditions. You can add fresh chickweed to your salads and soups to enjoy the chickweed benefits. If fresh chickweed is not available, you can use dried chickweed or take in chickweed supplements for improved health.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is chickweed healthy?
Chickweed contains essential minerals and vitamins like selenium, magnesium, copper, Vitamin C, thiamine, etc., which make it highly beneficial for your overall health.
2. How many calories are there in a cup of chickweed?
A cup of chickweed provides you with around 96 calories.
3. What does chickweed taste like?
Chickweed has a meek taste with slightly bitter undertones
4. Are chickweed seeds edible?
Yes, besides the leaves, you can also eat chickweed seeds, stems, and flowers.