Botanical Name: Galium aparine | Family: Rubiaceae
Common name(s): Cleavers, Clivers, Clives, Goose Grass, Bedstraw
- Annual; wild, considered a weed | Zones 4-7 | Creeping/climbing plant that can grow up to 6′ | Very small white flowers in late spring/summer | Small, hooked hairs on leaves and stems | Root can be used as a permanent red dye
- Grows everywhere, likes moisture
Harvest from spring to fall
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
Infusion: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2-3 teaspoonful of dried herb and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3x/day.
Tincture: Take 2 – 4ml 3x/day
Juice: The juiced (or pulverized) plant is stronger medicine than an infusion. Take 1 teaspoon, 2 – 3x/day as a tonic, or can be used in external preparations (compress, cream, hair rinse)
Food: Can be eaten as a green, like spinach.
Oil: Infuse wilted fresh greens in oil and use directly or to make a cream.
Constituents: Coumarins, glycosides, tannins, citric acid
Actions: Alterative, aperient, astringent, diuretic, refrigerant,tonic
Uses: Lymphatic cleanser, cystitis or gravel, bed wetting, to break fevers, skin conditions, like dandruff and psoriasis, but also burns and inflammations.
Combinations: Poke root* and echinacea for the lymphatic system; Yellow Dock and Burdock for skin conditions.
Cautions: Cleavers can cause a rash in some individuals. If you break out in a rash, DO NOT ingest the plant. Cleavers is also highly astringent and should only be taken internally for up to two weeks, then skip one or two weeks before taking again.
- Bitter, cool
- The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody
- Holistic Herbal, by David Hoffman
- The Way of Herbs, by Michael Tierra
- Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss
- Edible Wild Food
- Backyard Patch Herbal Blog
- photo credit: Cleavers via photopin (license)
*Poke weed (recommended in more than one source as a combination with cleavers) is a very powerful and toxic plant. Please read the information at the link provided. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.