- Mouse-eared Chickweed
The Mutterings Of Chickweed
What the trees announce in bud,
showy and majestic as they are,
is not as vitally important
as the mutterings of chickweed,
clover, dandelion, upland cress
as they creep along the edges
of lawns, roadside ditches. Sideling
into sidewalk cracks, cress roots its way
through thinning asphalt, chickweed’s everywhere
and all at once repeating keep on keep on
one more time, they listen constantly and
that is what they teach us when we
search them out and take them in our mouths
and let them tell our bodies root,
and listen, persevere, and spring.
By Margo Solod
This diminutive little plant has followed white man wherever he has settled, and in so doing it has become one of the most common weeds. Moreover it has become invasive in some areas. You can harvest chickweed anytime you find it, but it is recommended to be gathered between May and June, while the plant is still in nice condition. It can be used fresh, or dried for later use.
Dioscorides, a Greek physician writing in the 1st century AD, described chickweed’s uses: “It (chickweed) may usefully be applied with cornmeal for inflammation of the eyes. In antiquity it was used to cool the liver, treat obesity, and care for skin problems (including using the juice to remove warts.
Chickweed is a feminine herb with an affinity for the moon and water. Chickweed is often used in workings to strengthen or maintain a relationship, or other rituals of love. It can be carried for the same purpose.
Here’s a very simple, super-delicious way of preparing a chickweed side dish in a hurry. Serve hot over whole-grain noodles or toast.
12 cups chickweed, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1 tbs. olive oil, or to taste
1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
¾ tsp. salt, or to taste
½ tsp. black pepper, or to taste
1. Steam the chickweed over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until just wilted (avoid overcooking), covered, in a heavy saucepan, without any more water than what clings to the leaves after rinsing and draining, and without a steamer rack!
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and heat to serving temperature.
Preparation time: 15 minutes