Today I was fortunate enough to spend several hours with foraging teacher, Cindy Moonrose, discussing one of my favorite topics, chickweed. It is insanely nutritious and grows practically everywhere for most of the year. Today we ate it in our salads and on our sandwiches and it was crispy delicious. Cindy also showed us how to make a chickweed tincture. See my previous post about all the great qualities chickweed has to offer. Just as a reminder, it is great for skin problems, respiratory ailments, reducing inflammation, treating obesity, and regulating thyroid and metabolic function. Cindy said that her daughter uses a chickweed tincture applied to her skin for the improvement and prevention of acne.
After our class she let us dig some of her chickweed up to transplant to our yards. We also got to take a bucket of freshly clipped chickweed home with which to experiment.
Basket of fresh chickweed
Pure grain drinking alcohol, preferably over 90 proof (Vodka works) OR vinegar
Pint size canning jar
Check to make sure you have only chickweed and not other weeds mixed in. Clean and dry chickweed. Pack tightly into pint size jar, leaving an inch from the top. Pour in alcohol or vinegar to the top of chickweed. Put top on. You may have to add additional alcohol/vinegar over the next week due to the shrinking chickweed.
Let sit for six weeks, turning every day. If you plan to keep the tincture for an extended period of time, put wax paper under the lid and ring as the top may react to the alcohol or vinegar. An alcohol tincture will last longer than a vinegar tincture. You can use the vinegar tincture just as you use regular vinegar. For the alcohol tincture, you can drink twenty to thirty drops up to two times a day for a benefit. Either kind is also good as an astringent to aid in skin care.
On a side note, Cindy also showed us some dried chickweed. She said that is is great to grind up in a food mill/processor and use in bread or soups. It smelled similar to a strong spinach, and the color was great. It would certainly add nutritional value to whatever it is cooked with!