February/March 2008

Dallas’ Affluent Lifestyle Magazine


Galium aparine
Action: Diuretic, antipyretic, alterative, astringent, vulnerary.
Systems Affected: Kidneys, bladder, blood, lymphatic system, skin.
Preparation and Dosage (thrice daily): Dried flowering plant, dose 2-5 grams by infusion.

An annual herb native to Europe, Cleavers is now widespread as a weed in many parts of the world. Of straggling habit, the plant is noted for the clinging nature of its stalks and seed capsules. Covered with fine bristles, they freely attach themselves to any animals or humans brushing past.
Cleavers is an excellent herb for all kidney and bladder complaints. It is recommended for painful urination associated with cystitis or urethritis, suppression of urine, and especially for obstructions of the urinary organs, such as stones and gravel.
A powerful diuretic and mildly laxative, it is useful in reducing weight and treating fluid retention.
Cleavers is also used internally for its alterative effects to treat skin diseases and eruptions (including psoriasis), and for its beneficial effects on the lymphatic system (being specifically indicated for enlarged lymph nodes).
The herb reduces body temperature and blood pressure slightly, antipyretic qualities which are useful in treating fevers.
Externally, Cleavers is used as a soothing and healing ointment tor wounds, ulcers, scalds and burns.
The roasted seeds provide an excellent coffee substitute and a permanent red dye is obtained from the roots.

Cautionary Notes: Cleavers is a powerful diuretic and therefore should not be used where there is any tendency to diabetes.