February 2023 Full Moon Herb Highlight
This month’s full moon has many names: Hunger Moon, Cold Moon, Storm Moon…you get the idea, ha! February is not the ‘cuddliest’ of months. And yet, it is the month associated with Quickening and the stirring of new life. A specific herb leapt out to me this month demanding to make its presence known - Chickweed. While not typically associated with February, Chickweed filled my garden beds and lawn this month, just begging to be used and adored.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is proof that Mother Nature loves us and wants us to be healthy. This diminutive, generous ground cover happily grows in cool weather and rarely, if ever, needs deliberate planting. Leave a little room in the garden and it will come. It is chock-full of vitamins and minerals making it hugely nutritious. It easily blends into salads, pestos, and soups. Chickweed is high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. All that goodness growing in your front lawn!
Chickweed likes moist, cool growing conditions. Its preferred growing condition is indicative of how it works as medicine - use it to cool and moisten hot dry tissues. It is one of my favorite first-aid herbs. It’s emollient and wound-healing making it a top-choice for burns, rashes, psoriasis, sun burn, and bruises. I infuse Olive Oil with Chickweed every Spring and Fall to have on hand throughout the year. The cooling and moistening properties it brings topically can also be mirrored internally. Herbalists will often use Chickweed for dry, irritated coughs, and excess heat or pain in the urinary system.
Fresh is best when it comes to Chickweed. It looses its punch fairly quickly when dried. It infuses well into oil, vinegar, and alcohol for year-round use.
Magically, Chickweed is associated with the Moon and is believed to increase fidelity and love.
I invite you to get outside this month and put your nose close to the ground. Do you see a deep green plant graced by beautiful white flowers reminiscent of stars? Look for the tell-tale line of fine hairs on one side of the stem. Chickweed has found you! Take care everyone and Happy February!
(Safety First: Always positively identify an herb prior to using it and only harvest from areas free of fertilizers and chemicals)