Monday, 28 October 2013

Popular Herbs - @Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Chickweed is a cool-season annual plant often eaten by chickens., genus S. media, belonging to the family Caryophyllaceae, native to Europe. The herb has been used in herbal medicine to treat skin conditions, indigestion, eczema, cough, rashes, etc. and as astringent, carminative, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, refrigerant, vulnerary agent.

Health benefits
1. Skin diseases
In the investigation of patch testing with dandelion and common chickweed (Caryophyllaceae) and common chickweed extract and their effect in dermatitis, atopic dermatitis and non-allergic chronic inflammatory skin diseases found that Among those with relevant Compositae allergy, 50.0% had AR to fragrance mix and balsam of Peru (Myroxylon pereirae resin) and colophonium. SLs were detected in dandelion but not in common chickweed, according to the study of "Sesquiterpene lactone mix patch testing supplemented with dandelion extract in patients with allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis and non-allergic chronic inflammatory skin diseases" by Jovanović M, Poljacki M, Mimica-Dukić N, Boza P, Vujanović Lj, Duran V, Stojanović S.(1)

2. Antioxidant activity against ageing related diseases, Central nervous (CNS) disorders
In the investigation of 27 extracts from non-cultivated and weedy vegetables traditionally consumed by ethnic Albanians (Arbëreshë) in the Vulture area (southern Italy) and their antioxidant effects found that extracts from non-cultivated Cichorium intybus, Chondrilla juncea and Stellaria media showed strong in vitro inhibition of xanthine oxidase, with an activity higher than that of a reference extract from Ledum groenlandicum, according to the study of "In vitro antioxidant activity of non-cultivated vegetables of ethnic Albanians in southern Italy" by Pieroni A, Janiak V, Dürr CM, Lüdeke S, Trachsel E, Heinrich M.(2)

3. Gastrointestinal inflammation
chickweed, according to Kerry Bones, author of "The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety" may help to reduce gastrointestinal inflammationby healing and protecting stomach ulcer.(3)

4. Anti fungal activity
In the investigation of SmAMP1.1a and SmAMP2.2a, were previously isolated from seeds of Stellaria media and it antifungal efefcts found that Transgenic plants bearing the full-length pro-SmAMP1 gene exhibited the best resistance to the phytopathogens Bipolaris sorokiniana and Thielaviopsis basicola, according to the study of "Transformation of tobacco and Arabidopsis plants with Stellaria media genes encoding novel hevein-like peptides increases their resistance to fungal pathogens" by R Shukurov R, D Voblikova V, Nikonorova AK, Komakhin RA, V Komakhina V, A Egorov T, V Grishin E, V Babakov A.(4)

5. Antimicrobial activity
In the investigation of homologous defensins, Sm-AMP-D1 and Sm-AMP-D2, were isolated from seeds of common chickweed Stellaria media L. and it antimicrobal effects found that the Brassicaceae plants and display strong inhibitory activity against phytopathogenic fungi and oomycetes in the micromolar range (IC(50)≤1μM), according to the study of "Isolation, molecular cloning and antimicrobial activity of novel defensins from common chickweed (Stellaria media L.) seeds" by Slavokhotova AA, Odintsova TI, Rogozhin EA, Musolyamov AK, Andreev YA, Grishin EV, Egorov TA.(5)

6. Nutrients
Chickweed is considered one of most edible and nutritious food as it contains high amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, the omega-6 fatty acid derivative), saponins, niacin, riboflavin (B2) thiamin (B1), beta carotene (A), magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, selenium and silica. The leaves contain saponins[7, 65]. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking, according to "Plant for the future"(6)

7. Etc.

Side effects
1. Overdoses may cause vomiting and diarrhea
2. Do not use the herb if you are pregnant or breast feeding without permission of the related field specialist
3. It may cause nitrate poisoning due to chemicals nitrates.
4. Do not use the herb in children
5. Etc.

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