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Cleavers (Gallium Aparine)
Finding lots of fresh Spring Cleavers popping up at the moment, perfect for cleansing & detoxifying our system after a long winter.
Cleavers aka Biddy Bids or Sticky Willy (no jokes) are in fact those plants which have dried out sticky balls on them late summer which your cat prances around wearing, or that you throw on your friends back and they have no idea they're wearing....
Cleavers are most well known for their diuretic, anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties, particularly their ability to cleanse the lymph nodes and to cleanse the blood.
Cleaver tea is often used by herbalists as a remedy for swollen glands, tonsillitis, or any other sickness that would benefit from lymphatic drainage support, such as respiratory infections.
Cleavers are useful for treating urinary or bladder infections given the diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. Make into a strong infusion (herbal tea) and drink 3 cups daily.
Cleavers are rich in silica which promotes healthy skin, hair, nails and connective tissues.
Topically cleavers are used as a poultice for skin ailments such as wounds, burns, eczema & psoriasis.
Gather with scissors or you'll pull up the whole plant and the mess underneath. Whilst these are a Summer flowering/seeding plant, they're at their best at this time of year.
My favorite way to consume Cleavers regularly is in a cold infusion, made overnight. The recipe can be found in my Winter Foraging Guide, where you'll learn all about this fascinating & health promoting plant.