Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chickweed

Chickweed is a pretty unassuming plant.  It can hide in the garden beneath other plants without drawing any attention to itself. I was looking for some a few weeks ago and managed to find some beneath some closely planted tomato plants.  I enjoy nibbling on it fresh but was wanting to bring some home to  make some chickweed oil. 
I gathered some up and tucked it in my "potions" pot with some olive oil.  It simmered away while I made the plum butter and for a while longer.  Throughout the summer I've done this with comfrey, calendula and plantain so now we've got all the skin oils that I like to have on hand.
Strained and bottled it makes a simple healing oil for skin ailments.  Usually I make all my oils into salves by adding a bit of beeswax but his year I've noticed that, having not made time to get to that next step, we are using the oils quite nicely as they are. So...sometimes not having the time to do something can show you that there is no need to do that thing. ;-)

8 comments:

amo said...

I didn't know that chickweed is a skin herb. Thanks for the info! Your boiled-in-oil chickweed looks like cooked spinach.

annie said...

What is the shelf life of the oil? Does it need to be refrigerated? Thanks for the idea!

Forest-Dweller said...

Always love the homemade cures.
Thanks for sharing.

donna!ee said...

all natural treatments are the best...thank you so much for sharing! blest be :)

Heather said...

Hi Annie

We don't refrigerate them (although I'm sure you could) and we always use them within the year (usually quicker). In the past when I have made bigger batches I would use a natural preservative such as Vitamin E or Grapefruit seed extract but at times I had a batch "go off" - the oil smells a bit rancid. For our family the key is to just make small batches so that they are used fairly quickly. Also I try to keep them in a dry, dark cupboard (although no idea if that actually makes a difference). ;-) I have kept ones I've made with coconut oil as a base in the fridge though.

Hope that helps.

nettlejuice said...

yeah chickweed!!
One of my very favorites.

erin said...

gah! i just hauled out handfuls of chickweed and filled the wheelbarrow with it tonight to give to the chickens in the morning to munch on with the other weeds.... oh well, it also makes my eggs nice and orangey, so i guess i'll trade the skin benefits for the nutritional benefits ;-)

i'm obviously hurried out there right now getting everything to bed for winter.

watching kereru said...

It's my staple in our winter salads and coleslaws. We love it but I hadn't steeped it on oil until now. Thanks for the idea.