The days are finally drawing out, the evenings are lighter, and there is a change in the air. We are now starting to see sudden burst of green leaves on trees, the birds are busy nest building, and flowers are starting to bloom. These subtle signs of life herald in what is to come; and that is always uplifting, particularly after months of seeing brown and grey...
One of my favourite visions of green is from the herb cleavers - which is often seen growing with nettle - they are friends! I harvest it all the time, and make cleavers juice to give myself a spring clean
Read below for why you should get cleavers into your life, and how to make juice for yourself.
Cleavers overview & medicinal uses:
Latin name: Galium aparine
Family name: Rubiaceae (same as coffee)
Parts used: Ariel - when in flower, seeds
Medicinal actions: Diuretic (increases urine output), depurative (improves detoxification, and helps to eliminate waste from the body - otherwise known as a 'blood cleanser'), lymphatic (clears the lymphatic system - effectively improving immune function).
Medicinal uses: Cleavers is a cooling herb, so be mindful of using if you tend to feel the cold. It is therefore considered useful if there is too much heat in the body, reducing inflammation. It is an all round 'tonic' meaning it just gently boosts and builds upon our own bodily systems. It actively clears and eliminates waste and toxins, and cleans up and tones those elimination channels too. It is like having a house cleaner in!
Habitat and cultivation: Classed as a weed - this is drought tender and frost resistant. It self sows freely, and is a bit of a scrambler, often intertwined amongst tall grasses, and other plants, in particular it is often seen with nettle.
It comes up early spring, and can be harvested throughout spring and summer, once in flower. You can harvest this a few times over, as it grows back quickly.
*As always, just take what you need, and from all over, not just from one patch. This ensures the plant's recovery and sustanability. Also check where you are picking it, ideally not on a polluted roadside, or on a farm boundary (which may use pesticides), don't pick on a known dog walking area! Just be mindful*
Cleavers feels sticky, due to its tiny hooked hairs, and has small white flowers consisting of 4 petals. Take the top third of the plant, this part is youngest, containing more of the plant's energy. As it is under the dominion of the moon, try picking when it is full for extra potency!
How to make cleavers juice...
What you need:
Emma is passionate about promoting good health, and likes to keep things simple. She enjoys yoga, meditation & being outdoors, yet likes to indulge in coffee, wine & cake - Everything in moderation!