Chickweed has a very long history of herbal use, being particularly beneficial in the external treatment of any kind of itching skin condition[238]. It has been known to soothe severe itchiness even where all other remedies have failed[254]. In excess doses chickweed can cause diarrhoea and vomiting[254]. It should not be used medicinally by pregnant women[254]. The whole plant is astringent, carminative, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, refrigerant, vulnerary[4, 7, 9, 21, 54, 165, 222]. Taken internally it is useful in the treatment of chest complaints and in small quantities it also aids digestion[254]. It can be applied as a poultice and will relieve any kind of roseola and is effective wherever there are fragile superficial veins[7]. An infusion of the fresh or dried herb can be added to the bath water and its emollient property will help to reduce inflammation - in rheumatic joints for example - and encourage tissue repair[254]. Chickweed is best harvested between May and July, it can be used fresh or be dried and stored for later use[4, 238]. A decoction of the whole plant is taken internally as a post-partum depurative, emmenagogue, galactogogue and circulatory tonic[218]. It is also believed to relieve constipation and be beneficial in the treatment of kidney complaints[244]. The decoction is also used externally to treat rheumatic pains, wounds and ulcers[4, 218, 222]. The expressed juice of the plant has been used as an eyewash[244].