Common Names Heartleaf Drymary, West Indian Chickweed, Tropical Chickweed, Drymary, Whitesnow, “Calabar woman’s eye”
Latin Name Drymaria cordata
An invasive creeping herb in the Southern US, it finds itself in farm crops, lawns, gardens, and damp places and disturbed sites.. It can be found during the cool weather months in warm climates, such as Florida, and spring and summer in temperate climates. It’s a perennial/annual and can grow up to 2 feet. It thrives in light, medium, and heavy soils, as well as a variety of pH environments.
Young leaves, young shoots.
In tropical regions of Africa, drymary has been used to help treat a variety of health issues, including colds, headaches, sores, and bronchitis. Studies have shown that drymary possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and antitussive (cough relief) properties as well as cytotoxicity (toxic to cell growth.) In Nigeria, it is sometimes used in treating sleep disorders. Drymary contains alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, tannins, and saponins. In 2012, a study further supported holistic methods of being used to treat fevers and mild pain.
Indications and Actions
Analgesic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, anxiolytic, astringent, immune-modulating, antibacterial.
Preparation and usage
Young shoots and leaves can be eaten raw in moderation, but are often suggested to be cooked. Infusions, tinctures, soup stocks. Historically, it’s also been dried and powdered and added to sores to help the healing process. Its easiest to steep as a long infusion or within a tea blend, and drank 3-4 times a day, or in tincture form.There are no known contraindications.
Akindele, A J et al. “Analgesic and antipyretic activities of Drymaria cordata (Linn.) Willd (Caryophyllaceae) extract.” African journal of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicines : AJTCAM vol. 9,1 25-35. 2 Oct. 2011, doi:10.4314/ajtcam.v9i1.4
“Chickweed – Plant of the Month, January.” Florida School of Holistic Living, Florida School of Holistic Living, 12 Jan. 2021, www.holisticlivingschool.org/2021/01/01/chickweed-plant-of-the-month-january/.Deane.
“Drymaria Cordata, Tropical Chickweed.” Eat The Weeds and Other Things, Too, Eat The Weeds, 28 Nov. 2017, www.eattheweeds.com/drymaria-cordata-kissing-cousin-chickweed-2/.
by Lex Barnard