Is chickweed edible?

zackey(GA 8b)March 6, 2014

I just read an article about chickweed being edible and that it made a good poultice. Can I eat the chickweed out of my yard?

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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Should be fine as long as you're sure you're eating chickweed (check online images,it's fairly distinctive in appearance), and it hasn't been contaminated by yard chemicals.

I haven't tried it (maybe this year); it's supposed to be nutritious and have a mild flavor.
I'm growing a cultivated variety of (golden) purslane - the standard purslane that grows weedily in the garden has a crunchy texture and slightly citrusy flavor, and makes a good addition to salads.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 8:43AM
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zackey(GA 8b)

Our yard is all natural. I'll google it. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 11:06AM
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fatamorgana2121

You might enjoy Steve "Wildman" Brill's page on chickweed - his site is linked in below. Add "foraging" to your google searches to focus in on the sites for finding & identifying wild edibles.

Your untreated lawn can be a treasure trove of edible and medicinal "weeds."

FataMorgana

Here is a link that might be useful: Steve Brill

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 7:58AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

Steve Brill is my man! Glad someone mentioned him!

Chickweed, chickweed is great! Very mild flavor. Almost like alfalfa sprouts, but instead of the watery flavor, it has a more very very subtle green leafy taste. It is one of the most palatable wild herbs in your yard.

In my yard I have:

Dandalion
Plaintain
Creeping charlie
Oxalis
Mint
Yellow dock
Wild carrot

I know im forgetting a bunch, but that gives you an idea of the food you have just right under your feet. Personally, i think it is beyond food, is it the most powerful, safe medicine you can get ahold of. Vegetables are basically hybrid herbs or weeds, they are inferior to wild herbs, nearly everyway you look at them. Vegetables need irrigation, fertilization, most choose to spray poisons on them, yet they still get out competing by the wild herbs. The herbs don't need any help to grow, they are out of control wild, they are strong, hardy, self sufficient. They learned they have to survive without being panpered, so some grow thorns, prickers, resin glands, trichomes, etc to protect itself, most of these are forms of antioxidants that we know of today. Most of these natural survival adaptations is why the wild herbs are soo medical, they are packed with anti- illness!

Again, please, dont be afraid to eat chickweed, it is one of the most palatable herbs. Just go around your lawn, taste a leaf of dandalion and plaintain, then go taste some chickweed, it'll taste like iceberg lettice compared to the bitter dandalion! What most dont understand though, is the same bitter flavor everyone hates and wont eat, that is the most healthiest part! I encourage everyone to research local wild herbs and harvest and repopulate sustainably.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 11:45AM
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zackey(GA 8b)

Thanks for the info! I didn't know all those were edible. I do have some wild oxalis.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 1:51PM
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kaliaman

interestingly chickweed has a long history of use for slimming (weight reduction), probably accomplishing this through it's very very mild diuretic action.

it's one of the best herbs for topical skin issues, use it internally and externally for that purpose.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 4:47PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

I love chickweed in green salads. This plant reseeds readily and grows quickly in spring, summer, and fall so it is possible to enjoy this green throughout the growing season.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 7:34PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Chickweed is excellent for weight loss, if you eat it instead of french fries.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:03PM
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kaliaman

people who criticize what they don't know are foolish

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 10:35AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Perhaps you can explain how a "very very mild diuretic" is supposed to produce significant weight loss.

Chickweed is an edible and nutritious plant. No need to tout it as yet another Miracle Treatment.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 10:43AM
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fatamorgana2121

I don't think there is any argument. A healthy diet full of nutritious food items like chickweed is always a better life choice than using any "slimming" pharmaceutical or botanical agent. Treat the cause rather than a symptom. ;)

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:28AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I just tried the steamed chickweed recipe on Brills website, it was delicous! I've always enjoyed it raw but found it overwhelming after a few bites, I like it steamed much better!

Chickweed DOES have a long tradition of being seen as helpful in slimming. That statement is true and I don't see how someone jumps from that to saying the other person "claimed it was a miracle cure"... Seems like an overreaction to a mild statement. I think we are all thoughtful enough to understand that a long tradition is just that, a long tradition. Not a claim of a scientific study. Though some of the studies done on chickweed apparently show that along with a diuretic effect it also has a mild metabolism-stimulating effect. I get the impression that it isn't that well studied. Maybe taking a moment to pursue some research oneself (like perhaps a little web search or book-learnin) before presenting a knee-jerk response to someone else who has been perfectly polite would be more helpful to all?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:52AM
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kaliaman

chickweed has a long history of use for slimming, many old herbals cite this traditional use. eric's ignorance of this use doesn't make the fact that it has been long used for this purpose less real.

i did not comment on its efficacy for weight loss.

regarding eric's latest over reaction...it's par for his course.... because when you think you're a hammer everything looks like a nail. and poor eric sees only nails. i said poor, i mean destitute. if he wasn't so nasty he'd be worthy of pity.

This post was edited by kaliaman on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 12:10

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:55AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

I'd welcome any link to a study showing chickweed is an effective diet aid, or an all-purpose skin treatment.

Traditional uses of a plant are interesting and part of the allure of herbalism. It's legitimate to question whether ancient traditions should be accepted as effective medicine.

As far as responding to a poster "who has been perfectly polite", how exactly does labeling other posters as "foolish" equate to politeness?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:04PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

This 2012 study shows chickweed as helpful for preventing high-fat-diet induced obesity and validates the historic cultural herbal wisdom.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chickweed prevents high fat induced obesity

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 7:57PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Thanks, but the only thing that study validates is that chickweed may (to use the authors' word) have anti-obesity activity - if you're a Swiss albino mouse.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 9:38AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

"I don't think there is any argument. A healthy diet full of nutritious food items like chickweed is always a better life choice than using any "slimming" pharmaceutical or botanical agent. Treat the cause rather than a symptom. "

Bingo! Someone's informed! Just waiting on the rest of the unaware!

"Thanks, but the only thing that study validates is that chickweed may (to use the authors' word) have anti-obesity activity - if you're a Swiss albino mouse."

Isn't that how most studies are done?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 11:24PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

"Isn't that how most studies are done?"

That's how some investigations get started. But conclusions on how and whether a supplement or drug works can't be made on the basis of rodent studies, tissue culture or similar preliminary assays. You could make a long list of proposed drugs and supplements that looked promising in rodent studies but never panned out in humans.

If (for example) Pfizer decided to release and promote a weight-loss drug on the basis of it being effective in Swiss albino mice, they'd be the laughingstock of the medical and scientific community (not to mention running afoul of regulators).

Now, if you want to add chickweed as part of your healthy diet while watching calories and exercising, that makes sense. It's not going to do much if you use it as a garnish on top of a half-gallon of vanilla ice cream.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 1:36PM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

"That's how some investigations get started. But conclusions on how and whether a supplement or drug works can't be made on the basis of rodent studies, tissue culture or similar preliminary assays."

Ok, they try it on human ginny pigs. If they turn out OK, the same company who manufactures the drug, is normally the one supplying data whether that drug is harmful, and what the studies and data actually conclude. A lot of the harmful data, is hushed up by the people making it, the people making money. Sounds corrupt as all hell, believe it or not. It's like a underground empire..

We'll just show you data that shows this drug is completely safe, don't worry, just keep taking it, you'll be better. Let the bug run it's course.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 12:23PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Even if we assumed that all drug studies are financed by drug companies (which is not the case): is that a good justification for not doing any human studies on herbs and supplements?

There's a multi-billion dollar supplement industry in the U.S. that benefits from not having to demonstrate that its products are safe and effective.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:42AM
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kaliaman

our FDA approves prescription drugs all the time that turn out to be killers down the road. now THERE is a multi billion dollar pharmaceutical industry that benefits from not having to demonstrate its products are safe.

if you look at the CDC's mortality stats you see that many thousands die annually from rx drugs, very very few from 'unregulated supplements'. doctors who have a financial interest in you taking rx drugs will tell you differently. docs are paid lobbyists for Big Pharma, so are hardly an unbiased source of info. docs are in the sick care business...sick people are customers which create more income. well people don't go to doctors.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:39AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

Now, i'm not making a defense or excuses for herb and natural supplements. Actually, I'm against nearly all supplementation. Supplementation is just a big of a scam as the pharmaceuticals. Actually, a lot of these pharmceuticals are probably making natural products as well. What's their to supplement in a healthy diet? Supplements are usually isolates, and they general do more harm than good. Anytime we manipulate nature, there is always some risk.. Forget these supplements and isolates, most are snake oil to begin with, natural or synthetic. Actually, the natural ones make more money, the unaware that are concerned about their health gobble up these products, not knowing that they are wasting their money and it most likely harming their self.

The thing that gets me, is Eric and some others are all about studies. Just show me some data, i need to see the study or it's not legit. That right there, is insanity. Knowing how corrupt some, a lot of the studies are. Then to only recognize the drug that is being studied and completely dismiss other safer, healthier, less costly, traditional alternatives. That's one reason the studies are Soo corrupt. They now people would read the study and it will change their thinking. If you had the potential to have some new medical breakthrough, would you put a red flag up, telling everyone this drug has some serious side effects. Or would you be optimistic and keep studying it until you get the conclusion you want. People should do the first, but most do the latter. We either, have to have every drug independently studied, or we need to stop taking these studies as the only path. We all know brocolli is healthier than french fries, we dont need a study for that, a lot of this is common sense.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:12PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

"doctors who have a financial interest in you taking rx drugs will tell you differently. docs are paid lobbyists for Big Pharma, so are hardly an unbiased source of info. docs are in the sick care business"

These memes have been refuted over and over again, so there's hardly any point to repeating what a grotesque mischaracteration of medicine they are. One obvious point which I've never seen anyone successfully address here - if "docs are in the sick care business" and don't want anyone to get well - then that means they don't care if they or their loved ones get well either because they're so intent on soaking up that pharma lucre. In other words, they must be a bunch of suicidal sociopaths. Does that make sense to anyone?

Also - if you're convinced that mainstream medicine is the root of all evil and plan to avoid it whenever possible, doesn't it make even more sense to demand good research and careful testing of products sold by the supplement industry? After all, that's what you'll mostly be relying on.*
Yet many alt med supporters seem to give the supplement industry a pass when it comes to demanding safe, effective products.

It's a mystery.

*Meantime reports of serious health problems and deaths from use of dietary supplements are on the rise, even though the $30 billion dollar supplement industry makes it tough to report problems (and remember, these products mostly have no proven benefits, making severe reactions and deaths unconscionable - that's a lot different situation from cases where proven effective drugs sometimes cause serious injury or death).

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:41PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

I've seen quite a few pro-alt med posters here cite scientific studies that they think support their beliefs. The problem comes when such studies aren't at all conclusive, or show the opposite from what's being claimed. Then science is "bad" or "corrupt".

Yet another mystery is why some people will readily dismiss most or all studies as "corrupt" (without bothering to document it), but uncritically accept anonymous testimonials from posters on the Internet, or claims made by alt med sellers and sites like NaturalNews or mercola.com (which are all in the business profiting from supplement sales). Think there might be a conflict of interest there?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:50PM
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kaliaman

naturalnews and mercola are sites widely known for their b.s. factor and are not taken seriously by real nutritionists. no one should be getting their health care info there.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:38PM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

"Yet another mystery is why some people will readily dismiss most or all studies as "corrupt" (without bothering to document it), but uncritically accept anonymous testimonials from posters on the Internet, or claims made by alt med sellers and sites like NaturalNews or mercola.com (which are all in the business profiting from supplement sales). Think there might be a conflict of interest there?"

I think there's a conflict of interest in the medical community in general. That's why I look for honest doctors who tell you you need none of their magic.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:48PM
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eibren(z6PA)

I just typed "chickweed recipes" into Google and got 97,000 results!

Now all I need is some chickweed....

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 7:54AM
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kaliaman

if you live in zone 6 start looking for it! it's early

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 10:28AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

Kaliaman,

Me and you are always on roughly the same page, dear! I'm getting ready to start picking, extemely excited! Nothings more peaceful than being out there in nature, working hand to hand with her, that feeling of peace and freeness, man.. Them are the best of times!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 12:22PM
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eibren(z6PA)

I'll do that.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 10:21PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

You must consider the context and the motivation of the scientific study. Chickweed has a long history of traditional use. This rodent study validated that wisdom of our ancestors. Scientists are trained to be cautious and careful when stating conclusions and so words like âÂÂmayâÂÂ, âÂÂlikelyâÂÂ,and âÂÂperhapsâ and commonly used. I value the chickweed study with the rodents as it is presented. The authors have no financial interests at stake. In contrast, I would be skeptical of a study done with a brand new drug isolate funded by a biotech start-up.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 7:38AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

You could just as easily question the motivations of people who promote herbs and supplements.

Researchers who publish a paper on the effects of an herb on rodents could conceivably be influenced by the need to publish positive findings in order to get promotions or grant money for future studies (this phenomenon of overwhelmingly positive results found for treatments, while not confined to alt med, is especially prevalent in complementary medicine journals, particularly those authored by Chinese researchers evaluating TCM).

We could just write off all scientific studies because they're "biased" and go with even more biased (as well as unreliable) testimonials. But that's a much poorer basis on which to make decisions about our health.

Research studies and well-conducted clinical trials are the gold standard for health remedies for a reason. Even alt med advocates who sweepingly condemn them for alleged "bias" crave the legitimacy they confer - which is why you see cherry-picked publications like the rodent chickweed article used to justify conclusions about effects in humans.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 9:22AM
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fatamorgana2121

I wouldn't start looking for it to pick until after the dandelions start blooming - and it is probably still off a ways at that point. In Western NY State, I see chickweed full and vibrant here in May. Come June it is mostly past.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 10:52AM
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