As with many of the early spring forageables, speedwell is often considered an invasive yard pest. Because of that many homeowners work hard to rid themselves of. On the other hand, some homeowners plant it on purpose. There actually are guides to getting the most out of your efforts throughout the growing season.
I am not a doctor and do not recommend any remedies in any way as an alternative to medical care. If you are having serious health problems, be sure to consult a physician.
Speedwell is a European herb that is actually a member of the snapdragon family. It grows close to the ground, but rise up once flowers start to bloom The hairy leaves have an oval shape with rounded margins. On the lower part of the stem, they are perfectly opposite one another, but on upper stems, they alternate. Each stalk will develop a single flower that can grow to around a third of an inch across, being either blue or white. They also produce a very distinguishing heart-shaped fruit that contains seeds. If you dig up the whole plant, you’ll find that the root system is very fibrous.
Speedwell plants are often misidentified as henbit, ground ivy, and purple deadnettle, but once they flower and produce the heart-shaped fruit, you’ll know exactly what it is.
Nutritional Benefits of Speedwell
The most common use for this herb is tea infusions, but you can actually purchase infusions, oils, and tinctures all over the internet, especially from specialty herbal stores. The entire plant is cut once it flowers and then dried. To infuse for tea, use one to two teaspoons of the dried herb for every cup of hot water for a relaxing tonic.
Speedwell has loads of tannins, vitamins, and tastes a little bit like watercress.
Medicinal Benefits of Speedwell
Using the same measurements as for a cup of tea, you can create an infusion of speedwell that works as a wash for skin infections or a gargle for throat and mouth sores. Some studies show that the tea can be used to treat stomach ulcers as well, while the salve form is a wonderful option for those with chronic dry skin issues.
Speedwell works great as a cough remedy and to treat asthma because it works as an expectorant. It also produces sweat (diaphoretic) and can be used as a diuretic, increasing urine output. This makes it a valid option for treating urinary tract and bladder infections.
This little plant also contains loads of antioxidants, which help fight the damage that oxidative stress and environmental free radicals can do to our bodies. But it also protects our cells from damage, as well.
Combining the sweat-producing benefit and the increased urine output can also work to detoxify the liver, ridding it of unwanted substances. This healthy detox is mild and has very few side effects, since no contraindications have been found for this plant.
Speedwell is considered generally therapeutic for the body, sanitizing the entire system and restoring health in many different ways. It is also known to help with digestion and increase appetite, which makes it useful in treat some eating disorders such as anorexia, when combined with other treatments.
Other medical uses of speedwell include treating:
- Lung diseases
- Kidney problems
- Migraine headaches
- Stomach problems
- Much more…
A WORD OF CAUTION!
It is believed that the aucubin in speedwell that protects the liver and offers anti-oxidant and antiseptic properties for humans can be toxic to grazing animals! If you have these animals, please keep them away from this plant!
This post is far shorter than my other herbal series posts, because there isn’t a great deal that can be done with speedwell, especially as far as cooking and creating. However, because it does have some very important medicinal uses, I felt it was worth mentioning.
If you happen to look up speedwell remedies and ready made homeopathic remedies, you will find tinctures, dried herbs, and juices, all of which can be taken in the ways I’ve mentioned in the post.
If you know of additional resources that could be of benefit, please feel free to drop me a note in the comments below! I’m sure our readers would be interested to know about them!
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