Chickweed is only around in the springtime before temperatures warm up and it dies back for the year. If you want to use it medicinally, chickweed needs to be preserved. There’s no better way to preserve it than in a simple chickweed tincture.
How to Use Chickweed Tincture
So why on earth would you need a chickweed tincture? This is one of those medicines that can actually be used both topically and internally.
Chickweed is great for skin irritations, and when combined with alcohol it can help treat acne. The alcohol works as an astringent, while the chickweed helps heal the skin.
Chickweed extracts have also been shown to be antibacterial, and a tincture applied to wounds should help both cleanse and heal the wound.
Taken internally, studies show that chickweed can reduce inflammation and inhibit histamine reactions. New theories suggest that many modern diseases stem from inflammatory conditions, and at the same time allergies are on the rise. Chickweed tincture combats both these issues when taken daily.
Chickweed stimulates mucus production and helps ease digestive issues. Taken in a low dose on a daily basis, the tincture can help ease stomach irritation. It’s also a gentle laxative to help keep you regular.
Old wives’ tales say that chickweed is good for weight loss, but there are not many actual studies that back this up. One study is showing promising results and indicates that chickweed can stop progesterone-induced weight gain.
When you’re pregnant, your body releases progesterone to help you put on extra weight to support the baby. Hormonal birth control mimics this and can cause weight gain. Regular consumption of chickweed has been shown to block this weight gain in mice and can help prevent the weight gain associated with birth control.
Besides tincture, wild foraged chickweed can be used for tea, vinegar, salves or eaten fresh.
How to Make Chickweed Tincture
To make chickweed tincture using the folk method, pack a mason jar about 2/3 full with freshly harvested chickweed. If using dried chickweed, fill the jar about 1/2 way full.
Cover the fresh or dried herb completely with alcohol. I tend to use Smirnoff vodka because it’s inexpensive, but also smooth. If you use the cheapest vodka you can find, the resulting tincture will be harsh and unpleasant to take.
Fill the jar to within an inch of the top, and cap tightly. Store in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight for at least a month. Shake it every time you remember.
After about a month, or longer if you forget, strain out the chickweed herb.
Store the chickweed tincture in amber tincture bottles.
The chickweed tincture should last for several years if kept at room temperature and out of sunlight. There are so many uses for chickweed tincture that it really should all get used up pretty quickly.