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 mentioned in that post how I used the healing powers of chickweed to get rid of a Bartholin cyst. The 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 quite so 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!
It isn’t pretty, but it works!
- Harvest some fresh chickweed. Try to find a good-sized patch to plunder before mid-April, as the early growth in chill temperatures make much stronger and effective remedies, in my experience.
- Rinse off your chickweed with cool water to remove buggies and dust and pick through to remove any dead leaves.
- Toss your chickweed in a blender (I use a NutriBullet (ad)) and add a bit 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 your 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 well, and stick them back in the freezer until you need them!
Using Chickweed Cubes
- These are perfect for external use to help cool off and treat skin inflammations. Chickweed is a big helper for ulcers, cysts, hemorrhoids (piles), minor burns, and rashes. Chickweed is an antidote to nettle stings, too.
- Have a nasty sunburn? Make a bath and add a teabag or two 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/