Common Name: Cleavers
Latin Name: Gallium aparine
A popular herb in folk medicines throughout the centuries, this common weed related to Sweet Woodruff vigorously grows in woodland, fields and along riverbeds throughout Canada. The young shoots are some of the first weeds to appear in spring, and are characterized by a tender, square and climbing leaves and shoot that cling to the fur of animals that touch them to help spread their seeds. Europeans widely used Cleavers as a spring cleansing tonic. Cooked, cleaves make an excellent nutritive vegetable, similar to spinach.
Parts Used: Aerial parts
Constituents: Gycoside asperuloside, gallotannic acid, citric acid
Actions: Diuretic, alterative, anti-inflammatory, tonic, astringent, anti-neoplastic
Medicinal Uses: A very valuable plant Cleavers are perhaps one of the best tonics for the lymphatic system. A plant indigenous to Canada, its lymphatic and diuretic actions may be used in a wide range of problems where the lymphatic system is involved. Thus, it is helpful for swollen lymph glands and problems related to the skin. It is especially helpful for conditions of psoriasis, externally and internally.
A salve of cleavers helps healing wounds and sores. It also makes a good face wash to clear the complexion. For the lymphatic system cleavers will work well combined with Echinacea and Marigold.
Used In: Body Wash/Shampoo