Stellaria media, known as chickweed, grows wild throughout Europe and North America. This low-growing plant has pointed oval leaves and small white flowers. Scientific literature primarily focuses on controlling the growth of this plant as a weed, and no evidence indicates the plant is effective for medicinal uses, according to Drugs.com. Consult with a qualified health care provider before beginning any herbal therapy.
The primary traditional use of chickweed is as a topical treatment for skin disorders, often in a cream, according to Drugs.com. Some people use it to treat eczema, a common skin condition involving scaling, red thickened patches of skin that can be very itchy. Chickweed preparations can be used to treat the red, itchy rash caused by contact with poison ivy and poison oak, and for healing insect stings and bites. Chickweed may be effective for treating these conditions because it contains relatively large amounts of vitamins, including the antioxidant vitamin C, and flavonoids, as noted by the University of Michigan Health System. It also contains the omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid, which may reduce inflammation, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. For eczema, rashes and inflammatory skin conditions, apply chickweed cream liberally several times a day to affected areas.