Clivers Root Galium aparine
Other Names: Goosegrass, Amor De Hortelano, Barweed, Catchweed, Cleavers, Cleavers Goosegrass, Cleever, Clivers, Eriffe, Everlasting Friendship, Gia Mara, Goosebill, Goosegrass, Grateron, Grip Grass, Hashishat Al Af'A, Hayriffe, Hayruff, Hedge Clivers, Hedgeheriff, Kaz Yogurtotu, Loveman, Mutton Chops, Robin-run-in-the-Grass, Scratweed, Sticky-willy, Stickywilly, Zhu Yang Yang,
Properties: Cleavers is edible and medicinal, it has been used for centuries as an alternativeby indigenous peoples on many continents. It is edible raw though said to be unpalatable, mainly used as a pot- or as an addition to soups. Using the plant as a has a slimming effect on the body. Cleavers is one of the best coffee substitutes, it merely needs to be dried and lightly roasted and has much the same flavor as coffee. Cleavers has a long history of use as an alternative medicine and is still used widely by modern herbalists. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of a wide range of ailments. The dried or fresh herb is alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, aperient, astringent, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, tonic and vulnerary. A valuable diuretic, it is often taken to treat skin problems such as seborrhea, eczema and psoriasis, and as a general detoxifying agent in serious illnesses such as cancer. The plant contains organic acids, flavonoids, tannins, fatty acids, glycoside asperuloside, gallotannic acid and citric acid. It has a mild laxative effect and stimulates the lymphatic system and has shown benefit in skin related problems. The fresh plant or juice is used as a medicinal poultice for wounds, ulcers and many other skin problems. An infusion of the herb has shown of benefit in the treatment of glandular fever, tonsilitis, hepatitis and cystitis. The infusion is also used to treat liver, bladder and urinary problems. The plant contains the valuable constituent asperuloside, a substance that is converted into prostaglandins by the body. Prostaglandins are hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels. Much more scientific research is being done on the plant it is of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
Used as a love medicine by one tribe, the infusion of plant was used as a bath by women to be successful in love. Also used as a hair tonic, said to be good for the hair, making it grow long. Several Native American Tribes used an infusion of the plant for gonorrhea. A red dye is obtained from a decoction of the root, it is said to dye bones red. It was also believed to remove freckles. Gerard writes of Cleavers as a marvelous remedy for the bites of snakes, spiders and all venomous creatures. A thick matt of the stems, when used as a sieve for filtering milk, was said to give healing properties to the milk and is still used in Sweden for that purpose.