Chickweed (Stellaria spp.)
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
Borneol, Caryophyllaceae (family), common chickweed, linalool, menthol, Stellaria holostea, Stellaria longipes, Stellaria media, Stellaria media Cyrill., Stellaria media Villars, terpenes.
Common chickweed (Stellaria media) is a wild plant that has traditionally been collected for human consumption in southeast Spain. There is also evidence of use of Stellaria holostea in Italy, Canada, and Scotland.
Herbal textbooks recommend chickweed (poultice, ointment, or oil) as a topical remedy for skin conditions including cuts, wounds, itching, irritation, psoriasis, and eczema. Currently, there is a lack of high quality scientific evidence supporting the use of chickweed for any medical condition.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
No available studies qualify for inclusion in the evidence table.
*Key to grades:A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Allergic reactions, antibacterial, cancer, cuts, eczema, food uses, hepatitis B, itching, psoriasis, skin irritation, wounds.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (over 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose of chickweed in adults.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose of chickweed in children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to chickweed, its constituents, or members of the Caryophyllaceae family.
Side Effects and Warnings
Chickweed is possibly safe in non-allergic people when ingested in food amounts, based on its use as a wild edible plant in Spain.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not list chickweed on its Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Chickweed is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Use cautiously with antibiotics, due to possible additive effects.
Use cautiously with anticancer and antiviral agents, due to possible additive effects.
Use cautiously with blood pressure medications, due to possible additive effects.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Use cautiously with antibacterial herbs and supplements, due to possible additive effects.
Use cautiously with anticancer and antiviral herbs and supplements, due to possible additive effects.
Use cautiously in herbs and supplements that alter blood pressure, due to possible additive effects.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
[Antiallergic agents from the chickweed]. Schweiz.Rundsch.Med.Prax. 11-10-2004;93(46):1936. View Abstract
Guarrera PM, Forti G, Marignoli S. Ethnobotanical and ethnomedicinal uses of plants in the district of Acquapendente (Latium, Central Italy). J Ethnopharmacol. 1-15-2005;96(3):429-444. View Abstract
Guil JL, Rodriguez-Garcia I, Torija E. Nutritional and toxic factors in selected wild edible plants. Plant Foods Hum.Nutr. 1997;51(2):99-107. View Abstract
Jovanovic M, Mimica-Dukic N, Poljacki M, et al. Erythema multiforme due to contact with weeds: a recurrence after patch testing. Contact Dermatitis 2003;48(1):17-25. View Abstract
Jovanovic M, Poljacki M, Mimica-Dukic N, et al. Sesquiterpene lactone mix patch testing supplemented with dandelion extract in patients with allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis and non-allergic chronic inflammatory skin diseases. Contact Dermatitis 2004;51(3):101-110. View Abstract
Kumarasamy Y, Cox PJ, Jaspars M, et al. Screening seeds of Scottish plants for antibacterial activity. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;83(1-2):73-77. View Abstract
Lin LT, Liu LT, Chiang LC, et al. In vitro anti-hepatoma activity of fifteen natural medicines from Canada. Phytother.Res 2002;16(5):440-444. View Abstract
Morita H, Iizuka T, Choo CY, et al. Dichotomins J and K, vasodilator cyclic peptides from Stellaria dichotoma. J Nat.Prod. 2005;68(11):1686-1688. View Abstract
Poljacki M, Jovanovic M, Boza P, et al. [Is Vojvodina a risk area for contact weed allergies?]. Med Pregl. 2005;58(3-4):123-126. View Abstract
Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.
March 22, 2017