The Cleavers Herb
Cleavers is a versatile herb from the Rubiaceae family of flowering plants, which also includes gardenia and noni. It is sometimes referred to as goosegrass, barweed, and clives. With its tiny, star-shaped white blossoms and slender green leaves, the cleavers herb can be found growing freely in fields, forests, and around gardens in North America, Europe, Asia, and parts of the Middle East. It is also a simple herb to add to a herb garden, requiring only partial shade and moist soil. Traditionally, cleavers herb has been used as both a healing food and a medicinal plant. Today, it still has a role as a valuable herb in alternative medicine.
Cleavers Herb Benefits
The primary benefits of cleavers revolve around this herb’s ability to tone the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for the drainage and cleansing of fluid from cells, tissue, and organs, as well as for part of the body’s natural anti-microbial activity, which occurs in the lymphatic glands. Therefore, lymphatic well-being is a foundation for overall well-being. Drinking a cup of cleavers herb tea, blended with marigold or echinacea, is a perfect remedy for swollen glands, tonsillitis, or any other ailment that would benefit from lymphatic drainage support like respiratory infections. Cleavers have also been traditionally used as a lymphatic tonic to alleviate ulcers and tumors, possibly because of the stimulation of fluid drainage.
Well-known for its diuretic and alternative properties, the benefits of cleavers herb will help treat common conditions that require overall cleansing. It is good for skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne, as well as urinary problems like cystitis.
Cleavers also have anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. Its healing compounds include glycoside asperuloside, gallotannic and citric acids, flavonoids, and fatty acids.
How to Make Cleavers Herb Tea
To brew a cup of cleavers herb tea, steep one cup of boiling water with two teaspoons of the dried herb. Allow to infuse for ten minutes. Cleavers herb tea can be drunk up to three times a day during healing. It blends well with poke root, echinacea, and marigold to tone the lymphatic system; with yellow dock and burdock for skin problems.
Hoffmann, David. “The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies.” (Element Books, 1996).
photo credit: Smoobs
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