Monday, January 9, 2012

Herbs: Chickeweed and Nettle


This time of year, my chickens are needing green leafy vegetables. I have noticed that
they look pale so I know they need iron. I have been giving them pumpkin and they really
like the seeds best of all. The next thing I give them this time of year is this herb that we
have everywhere. It looks just like a weed, but really is quite beneficial. I know I need
lots of greens too, when I am pulling it for the chickens and my mouth waters.

My Herb books says this about Chickweed:
"Chickweed finds its most common use as an external remedy for cuts, wounds and especially for itching and irritations. If eczema or psoriasis causes this sort of irritation, Chickweed may be used with benefit, internally it has a reputation as a remedy for rheumatism."
(Holistic Herbal p. 147)

Common Nettle
The next "weed," that I have in abundance this time of year is Common Nettle.
When I was having my babies, I drank Nettle and Red Raspberry tea. It really is a good herb
for childbearing.
My daughter drank it the last trimester last year. I would pick it for her and she would dry it in her
oven at very low tempature over night and drink the tea. It  is also very high in iron. The hardest thing
about this is picking it is the sting. But you can make some mud and put it on the sting and it goes away.

My great grandmother was a herbalist. It was just part of taking care of your family. Women in
the 19th century knew as much about herbolgy as they did for sewing and cooking and taking
care of their families.
It makes me sad that this knowledge was lost and not passed down. It still is something
I love to read about. I have been interested in herbs for use in dyeing of wool and fabric. I would
like to put in a tea garden as well as a dye garden. But for now, I just thought I would share the
the beneficial herbs that just grow around my house this time of year.
I hope your Monday is off to a great week!



TexWisGirl said...

dr. momi (homesteading at redtail ridge) does a lot of herbology and natural medicines. i think it is an almost lost art worth preserving. :)

Kim said...

I'm fascinated with some of those old fashioned herbal remedies. You can't dispute that some of them were far more effective than modern remedies. My grandmother had lots of different tips for things. We used to make fun of her and now we try to remember what they were - because they worked!

Nancy said...

I too am sorry that herbal remedies are fast becoming a lost art....I think some of them were much better than what we are using today....

I would love to know of some good resouces.....

Sue said...

One of my goals this year is to grow more herbs, and to find more uses for them. I know there are a lot of different ones that grow wild around here and hope to be able to find and identify them more readily. Thanks for sharing.

Jill said...

This is all so interesting to me! I hope you share more of what you learn a long the way.

Meg said...

I just ordered a pound of Red Raspberry leaf tea and hope it gets here soon! said...

So interesting Kim. Funny, I was thinking this morning as I heard an ambulance in the distance, that hospitals are where they take everyone who is really sick. And then I thought of the men and women who lived during a time and in a place where none of that was available. Like you've described here, our fore fathers and their families knew things to do for sickness and emergencies that we never think of. Yes, some of them died young, without our modern medical advances, but some of them did what they had learned from the land and fixed and healed so many things.

Makes me both thankful for them, and thankful for all we have today. said...

We use herbs around here...always first before going to any doctor..I just don't have the benefit of all of them growing outside. Now my kids call back home asking what to do...and none of them have been on antibiotics since they were two and the last two they must work.

Love that you use them for chickens...I had no clue, but we have for dogs.

Interesting post...I learn so much from do need to write that book!

camp and cottage living said...

You're way ahead of me with your herbs. I have a few books on natural remedies, but no herbs yet.
Wouldn't have been neat if your g'mother had written down her tried and true remedies?

Jacque. said... are one of the most interesting women I know! You rock!

Miss Debbie said...

You are full of interesting information! :-)

Julia said...

I have plenty of chickweeds invading my gardens from early spring to late fall. Too bad I don't have chickens. Right now the ground is frozen and a thin snow covering blankets the weeds.

I've heard about the nettle tea but never was brave enough to try it. Thanks for the information. Hugs. JB

Maryann said...

Who knew there was a use for chickweed, it invades my yard like crazy...unfortunately I have no chickens

Homeschool on the Croft said...

This is amazing.... You are a mine of information! It's true that so much of this knowledge - what *was* common knowledge - has almost disappeared.... We'd all be so much better off if our 'last' resort was antibiotics and such like, not our 'first' resort.
Wonderful stuff :)

Empty Nester said...

I agree with you about the herbs. I wish I knew all about them but I don't. I thought maybe the best thing to do is start a small garden in the kitchen window, learn those and move on from there. Do you have a book you recommend?

You've been tagged at my blog!

Jamie Oliver (@va_grown) said...

I just got this book last year called "A Dyer's Garden" about planting herbs and flowers for natural dyes. My husband is laughing at me because when will I have time, but one day....