Also known as Galium aparine, clivers, goosegrass. Barweed, Bedstraw, Catchweed, Cleaverwort, Coachweed, Eriffe, Everlasting Friendship, Goosebill, Gosling Weed, Grip Grass, Hayriffe, Hayruff, Hedge-Burs, Hedgeheriff, Love-Man, Mutton Chops, Robin-Run-in-the-Grass, Scratchweed, Stick-a-Back, Sweethearts.
Introduction Cleavers is a pasture plant of Britain and North America easily recognized by its clinging leaves and sticky seeds attaching themselves to any animal or person passing them. The entire plant is used in herbal medicine, harvested just before it blooms in early summer. Cleavers is related to both quinine and sweet woodruff. It has no odor, and a slightly bitter taste. Native American tribes used it as a bath herb for women so that they would be successful in love; also as a hair tonic to make hair grow. According to French research in 1947, it is said to be good for lowering blood pressure. Cleavers is known for its powerful effect on the lymphatic system, especially when there is congestion about the head and neck. It was used historically to treat cancers of the mouth and neck. It is a wonderful herb for healing skin blemishes of just about any kind. It is useful in topical skin preparations due to its healing and soothing properties.
Constituents Chlorophyll, citric acid, rubichloric acid, tannins.
Parts Used Usually the above ground parts of the plant, dried and chopped.
Typical Preparations Usually taken as a tea, but can be eaten or ground fresh. Equally as suitable as an extract or capsule and may be lightly sprinkled on food as it has a fresh taste.
Summary Cleavers is a diuretic herb, the "Lasix" (furosemide) of the nineteenth century, used to assist ailing hearts by encouraging urination to reduce the volume of blood to relieve congestive heart failure. Herbalists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries reported that it dissolved kidney stones; however, neither cleavers nor any other diuretic should be used during an acute attack. Cleavers were also used in washes and cosmetics to remove freckles as well as for skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This information courtesy of MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS, with full, written permission for reuse. For further traditional information concerning Cleavers, please visit this excellent resource from Botanical.com. Used with full, written permission.