Cleavers is an unique green plant with leaves that have a sticky, almost velcro-like texture. These sticky leaves allow cleavers to latch on and climb just about any object they grow next to. If allowed, they can grow to climb up to about six feet tall.
Cleavers grows around the world and can be found in temperate climates such as Europe, North America, Asia and more. This plant has long been used as a medicinal herb, most commonly as a diuretic to support urinary tract health. It is also a very beneficial herb for the lymphatic system, which is why we use organic cleavers herb as one of the key ingredients in our Lymphatic Detox Tonic. In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know about cleavers.
What Is Cleavers Herb?
Cleavers (Galium aparine) is a small green plant that forms small greenish-white flowers and is often described as a weed. They grow abundantly in temperate climates along the forest floor, climbing up trees and bushes, or forming their own bush-like clusters on the ground as the plants tangle and entwine together.
Their leaves stick to nearly any surface, and when harvesting cleavers in the wild, they can simply be matted together into a nest and attached onto a shirt, bag, or any other surface, and will stick around for the whole day.
Cleavers has many other common names, such as goosegrass, gripgrass, scratchgrass, catchweed, cleaverwot, stickywilly, and Velcro plant.
What Is Cleavers Used For?
Cleavers herb uses are minimal, but it is known to be fairly effective for the few uses that it has. Cleavers is a cooling herb that traditional herbalists have long used to help clear excess heat and stagnation in the body. Cleavers herb enhances the function of the lymphatic system and improves the lymphatic systems ability to flush out toxins, decrease congestion and reduce swelling. These effects also help to enhance the immune system.
Additionally, cleavers are used medicinally to benefit the urinary tract and renal system. It has commonly been used to relieve edema and to promote urine formation during bladder infections. Ancient greek physicians praised cleavers for their ability to relieve water retention, while Native American tribes used them to promote kidney health.
What Are the Health Benefits of Cleavers Herb?
Cleavers herb benefits are primarily limited to its beneficial effect on the lymphatic system, as well as the renal system, though it does have a few other uses and benefits as well.
Cleavers May Improve Lymphatic System Health
One of cleavers top uses is as an herb to improve the health of 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.
Unlike the circulatory system where the heart acts as the pump, the lymphatic system only moves in one direction—upward and away from gravity. As the lymph system tries to fight gravity, it can easily become clogged, allowing toxins to build in the body, leading to inflammation and compromising the health of the immune system.
The lymphatic system depends on other things to help it drain like movement, deep breathing, diet, and herbs. Cleavers are one of the best herbs for stimulating lymphatic drainage. They help to reduce swollen lymph nodes and fluid build-up, allowing for a better flow of lymphatic fluid.
The lymphatic system is one of the major ways that your body detoxes. So by enhancing lymphatic system health, you also support your body’s ability to detox, which can have a very positive effect on your overall health.
Cleavers May Improve Kidney Health
Cleavers are known to be an effective diuretic herb. A diuretic is any substance that promotes diuresis, the increased production of urine. This increased urine production helps to flush out waste, toxins and excess fluid from the kidneys.
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.
Cleavers May Improve Bladder Health & Help Treat Urinary Tract Infections
Cleavers have long been used for treating urinary tract infections (UTI), as well as for improving overall bladder health. In traditional forms of herbal medicine, bladder infections are often associated with inflammation and heat in the body. Cleavers are considered to be a very cooling herb that can help reduce inflammation.
These properties, in addition to their diuretic properties that help flush the kidneys, may be able to support bladder health and alleviate urinary tract infections. In addition, cleavers ability to enhance lymphatic system health may also help urinary tract infections by enhancing the function of the immune system so it can better fight infections.
Cleavers May Help Alleviate Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a skin disease that can cause red, itchy, scaly patches to form, most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp. According to the Mayo Clinic, “psoriasis is thought to be an immune system problem. Triggers include infections, stress, and cold. The most common symptom is a rash on the skin, but sometimes the rash involves the nails or joints.”
Cleavers may be able to help alleviate psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions because of its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Many skin conditions have also been associated with toxic build up in the body and blood. Because of cleavers ability to improve lymphatic system flow, it may increase the body’s ability to detox, and therefore may also help skin conditions in this regard as well.
However, there are no major studies to date on cleavers use for psoriasis. That being said, cleavers are unlikely to interfere with other therapies, so it may be worth trying to use this herb as part of a psoriasis management plan, especially since there are numerous reports of people finding some benefits in using cleavers for psoriasis.
Other Cleavers Benefits
In addition to the cleavers benefits mentioned about, this herb may also:
- Help treat acne. Because of cleavers cooling effect on the skin, as well as its ability to enhance lymphatic system health and help detox the body, it may also help in the treatment of acne.
- Help improve liver health. Various studies on cleavers have found that this herb has hepatoprotective properties. Cleavers can help protects the liver from damage, and can also help regenerate liver health with its cleansing and detoxing properties. In addition, cleavers also stimulate bile production and can also help to prevent bile ducts from becoming clogged, which benefits liver health as well as overall digestive health, since bile is the substance that helps the body break down and process fats in the diet.
What Are the Active Compounds in Cleavers?
The medicinal benefits of herbs are largely attributed to the bioactive compounds found within them. These compounds can stimulate certain processes in the body that can have medicinal benefits. The active compounds found in cleavers herb include various biologically active ingredients like phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonoids, and alkaloids such as anthraquinones and coumarins.
Is Cleavers Safe?
Cleavers are an edible plant and have been used as a medicinal herb for centuries. They are generally considered to be safe and effective, and are not known to interact with any medications or other herbal supplements. While there are no notable side effects of using cleavers herb, it is possible for some people to have an allergic reaction to cleavers. In this case, one may experience certain symptoms such as runny nose, throat swelling, hives or rash, watery or red eyes, difficulty breathing, itchiness, or other common allergy symptoms.
It is also recommended to avoid using this herb when pregnant or breastfeeding. In fact, Native American women sometimes even ate cleavers to help prevent pregnancy. Always consult a licensed healthcare professional before taking any dietary supplement.
How Do I Ingest Cleavers for Medicinal Use?
The best way to get the benefit of cleavers is by taking a therapeutic extract of the herb like we have in our Lymphatic Detox Tonic. Therapeutic alcohol extracts are more concentrated and potent than teas, powders, or capsules, and therefore are generally more effective for specific medicinal uses.
Additionally, one can make an herbal tea of cleavers using 2 to 4 grams infused in 4 to 8 ounces of water. Some herbalists suggest making a cold tea of cleavers to protect the compounds in it that may otherwise be effected by high temperatures.
Cleavers (Galium aparine) also known as goosegrass, gripgrass, scratchgrass, catchweed, cleaverwot, stickywilly, and velcro plant, is a small green plant that forms small greenish-white flowers and is often described as a weed. They grow abundantly in temperate climates along the forest floor, climbing up trees and bushes, or forming their own bush-like clusters on the ground as the plants tangle and entwine together.
Cleavers is a cooling herb that traditional herbalists have long used to help clear excess heat and stagnation in the body. Cleavers herb enhances the function of the lymphatic system and improves the lymphatic systems ability to flush out toxins, decrease congestion and reduce swelling.
Cleavers are also used medicinally to benefit the urinary tract and renal system. Cleavers have commonly been used to relieve edema and to promote urine formation during bladder infections. Cleavers may also help improve some inflammatory skin conditions as well as enhance liver health.
Cleavers is a common herb that has been used medicinally for centuries. While the uses of cleavers are few, it has a reputation for being very effective for the specific uses that it has.