Cleavers, An Important Plant For Moving Stagnant Lymph


Cleavers (Galium aparine) go by many other names, including goose grass, catch weed and sticky willy, owing to cleavers many sticky hairs that give it its telltale feel when you touch it. The plant easily sticks to your clothes or skin. Cleavers have a sprawling growth habit, with square stems covered with fine hairs that grow 1 to 3 feet long. Leaves emerge from the stems in star-like patterns in groups of 6 to 8. I didn’t know that historically, cleavers were used to stuff mattresses! It makes sense because cleavers stick to everything.

Cleavers is best known as a spring tonic herb. It grows in wooded areas, gardens, landscaping and in grassy areas in the early to mid-spring when the weather is cool with regular rains. I have found cleavers growing profusely in my flower beds.

When I’ve had a plant show up repeatedly on my property, it warrants my attention. Why is she here ? What is she telling me?  What am I not hearing? I know I need to listen to the plant.

What Are The Benefits Of Cleavers?

Cleavers has many health boosting properties such as anti-inflammatory, diuretic and febrifuge abilities. Through out the years, cleavers has commonly been used as a diuretic and a natural way to treat swelling and inflammation as well as many skin conditions.

The diuretic properties of cleavers helps to flush out wastes, toxins and excess water from your body improving the health of your kidneys, bladder and liver.

Cleavers is a cooling diuretic, it moves water and lymph out of your body through the urinary tract. The cooling property of cleavers also helps to soothe inflammation that can come with swollen or stuck lymph in the body.

Note that a small number of people have allergic reactions to cleavers, so don’t consume it if you find that your skin reacts to it.

Stimulates The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is your body’s sewage system and a major part of your immune system. It helps remove toxins, waste and pathogens from your body, protecting you from infections and diseases.

A clogged or slow moving lymphatic system means all systems in your body are compromised by the lack of movement in this important system.  As this fluid is being moved and filtered, the lymphatic system jumps in to help start the immune system response when a pathogen or bug enters the body.

Cleavers are highly recommended for moving stagnant lymph, it’s a gentle lymphatic cleanser and a fantastic spring tonic.

Kidney Health

The diuretic properties of cleavers help flush out wastes, toxins and excess water from the system improving the health of your kidneys, bladder and liver. This herb can also help to dissolve kidney stones and prevent the development of fibrocystic tissue.

Whenever the kidneys are affected by toxins or illness, they respond by retaining water. Diuretic herbs like cleavers help relieve that water retention, supporting the kidneys and helping them flush and release built up toxins and waste.

Skin Health

Cleavers has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce skin irritation, inflammation and redness. This herb is beneficial in improving skin conditions like eczema, acne and psoriasis. It is also believed to help soothe and hydrate the skin, making it a useful ingredient in skincare products.

Take cleavers as a tea or tincture 2 to 3 times a day for any of the above conditions.

The easiest way to take cleavers is in a tincture because it’s already made and you only need a couple of droppersfull at a time.

Whether you make a tincture yourself or purchase it, make sure the tincture is crafted with fresh cleavers.  The resulting tincture is bursting with a rich green vibrancy. Here is a link to my post on making tinctures.

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