What does a hardcore macho, worm eating, roadkill asphalt licker survivalist eat for breakfast this time of year you might ask, Chickweed of course.
Or (Stellaria media) has juicy, tender, slightly sweet leaves and stalks. These plant parts are all added to my mornings salad. Yep, your heard right, my breakfast salad. That’s what macho, hard core survivalist like “me” have for our power breakfast this time of year.
There could be another reason why I’m eating salad this morning for my breakfast; it may be due to my fish trap being empty. But just for the sake of learning the benefits of this wonderful cooling and very edible plant which is loaded in vitamin A,D, (Great for the cloudy Oregon coast), B complex, C, and rutin a flavonoid. Iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, sodium, copper, and silica; we will forgo my trapping adventures for another day.
What does Chickweed taste like? Not like chicken, you can be sure about that.
I added chickweed to my salad fixings as I was saying and while I was at it I found a patch of large Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) nearby. Sheep Sorrel tastes nothing like sheep, or chicken for that matter, but like all sorrels, the leaves are tart, sour to the taste and make a great addition to a morning salad to really wake up those taste buds.
I then drizzled some very delicious extra virgin olive oil from our local food co-op in the salad, added a little ground black pepper, and there you have it, a feast for a king. Or a pauper, or a meatless survivalist such as I am this morning.
Not only is Chickweed and Sheep Sorrel both edible and quite delicious, they both have important medicinal properties we can easily apply in the outdoors.
Chickweed is used as a cooling plant and used as an anti-inflammatory. Examples of its use are when a headache is coming on from stress or heat. We can take the whole green chickweed plant, a good handful, sit down, lean against a log or tree and apply the whole plant as a cooling agent to the forehead, back of the neck, or any other part of our body that feels overheated. Ah relief!
can also be applied directly to minor burns as an effective poultice or refrigerant. It’s a very safe plant to use and can also be made into a medicinal tea; a medium handful of fresh healthy plant, roots and all, cleaned, steeped, in 8oz boiled water for 15 minutes. Take Chickweed as a tea or if you must, raw as in a salad, internally as a general ant-inflammatory.
You can add it to your survival stew just fine. Don’t overcook it though, put it in the stew just before its ready to be taken off the fire. Delicious addition to any camp pot.
Rumes acetosella, or Chickweed, is a diuretic as are most spring potherbs so if you are taking a prescription diuretic such as Lasix you should contact your physician before ingesting the tea or plant.
What distinguishes it from other look-a-like plants is its one-side stem hair characteristic.
Chickweed only has hairs on one side of the stem an important factor to keep in mind when keying this lovely plant out.