vendredi 12 mars 2010
Back in France : Medicinal Plant of the week.
The plant of the week is Stellaria media or common chickweed(Caryophylaceae), it is in flower underneath the cherry trees in the garden even though the temperatures have been -6 in the mornings this week.
It is the fresh plant that is used for both medicinal and culinary uses. The young shoots and flowering tops are collected at the begining of the flowering period.
This is a very good wild salad, tasty and not at all bitter, containing a decent amount of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and silice.
In terms of medicinal uses, it can be used fresh in a herbal tea or made into a tincture by seeping it in alcohol for a month before filtering. It's nourishing qualities make it a good plant for convalescence, Mathew wood (author of "The Earthwise Herbal") states that this nutritive force is this plants most important quality, it actually helps in the assimilation of nutrients.It is also a cooling plant, often growing in dampish, shady places, under trees for example It's cooling qualities can be used externally for skin problems such as boils, rashes, eczema etc and internally for all sorts of inflamations. It it also a plant linked to water, it acts on the liquids of the body, decongesting the lymphatic system, it is diuretic in terms of the kidneys and generally helps to balance the bodies water content.