Abundant chickweed is no pest! The useful herb is best harvested in early spring and frozen to use later.
Late winter and early spring is the most glorious season for Chickweed! The freezing temperatures don’t seem to deter this hardy weed. Her bright green clumps can be found pulsing with life, tucked away under the last blankets of snow. She’s one of the first spring greens that everyone wants to eat; people, livestock, and especially chickens!
I’ve expressed my appreciation for chickweed before and explained how I used the healing powers of chickweed to get rid of a Bartholin cyst. Fresh chickweed worked like a champ to shrink that cyst into nothingness; however, what am I supposed to do with similar issues during the warmer months when chickweed isn’t as prolific?
To that end, I’ve figured out a great way to preserve fresh chickweed that beats tinctures or drying hands down – freezing it into ice cubes!
- Harvest fresh chickweed. Try to find a good-sized patch to plunder before mid-April, as the early growth in chill temperatures makes much more potent and effective remedies.
- Rinse off the chickweed with cool water to remove bugs and dust and pick through to remove any dead leaves.
- Toss the chickweed in a blender (I use a NutriBullet (ad)) and add a splash of water. Give it a spin or two and take a peek to see how it is going. Add only as much water as you need to get a frothy puree.
- Pour the puree into ice cube trays and pop them into your freezer. In this case, I used a small tube-shaped ice cube tray. This shape will let me allow me to break off small chunks of frozen goodness as I need throughout the year!
- Once the chickweed puree cubes are frozen, pop them into a bag. Label it and stick the bag back in the freezer until you need them!
Using Chickweed Cubes
- These are great for external uses, like cooling off and treating skin inflammations like cysts, hemorrhoids (piles), minor burns, and rashes.
- Chickweed is an antidote to nettle stings and helps to soothe bug bites.
- Have a nasty sunburn? Make a bath and add a bag of black tea to the lukewarm water. Throw one of these ice cubes in as well to increase the soothing effects, and don’t forget to keep hydrated as you heal!
- You can also eat chickweed, although it can have a laxative effect if you eat too much of it. It has often been used as a helper for weight loss, and it is a minor diuretic. This can be attributed to the saponin content. Try throwing half of one of these ice cubes into a smoothie every now and then.
- Botanical: A Modern Herbal – http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/chickw60.html
- The Practical Herbalist – http://www.thepracticalherbalist.com/holistic-medicine-library/chickweed-skin-rejuvenator/