Weeds get a bad wrap; they are considered a nuisance and often yanked out and disposed of with little thought. Some weeds, however, are packed with nutrients and carry magnificent medicinal properties. Cleavers herb, which is known scientifically as Galium aparine, has long been used in alternative medicine and is still used by herbalists today.
Cleavers herb contains many health-boosting properties, such as anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and febrifuge abilities. Through out the years, cleavers herb has commonly been used as a diuretic and a natural way to treat swelling and inflammation, as well as many skin conditions.
What is Cleavers Herb?
Cleavers herb is a weed that can be found growing anywhere in the United States. This weed is commonly found growing moist grassy places, usually by rivers and growing along fences.
Cleavers snakes its way through shrubs and other plants, looking for sunlight and a clearing to establish itself. The leaves of the cleavers contain little hooked bristles, which can attach themselves to nearby plants or anything passing it by.
In the wild, cleavers herb has an unpleasant scent, however, once the herb is dried, the odor dissipates. Considered an edible herb, cleavers has a bitter taste that might be off-putting to some people.
Benefits of Cleavers Herb
Cleavers herb has been used consistently for centuries due to its wealth of benefits and medicinal properties.
1) Stimulates Lymphatic System
Cleavers herb has been found to improve the health of the lymphatic system. This includes reducing inflammation of lymph glands and cysts in the breasts.
Cleavers herb also helps to reduce swelling and inflammation by clearing excess waste and water from the body, helping to reduce instances of edema.
2) Kidney Health
The diuretic properties of cleavers herb help to flush out wastes, toxins, and excess water from the system improving the health of your kidneys, bladder, and liver. Cleavers herb may also help to dissolve kidney stones and prevent the development of fibrocystic tissue.
3) For the Skin
Cleavers herb helps to improve stubborn inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis by reducing inflammation. Cleavers herb may also improve the skin by treating eczema, acne, sunburns, and wounds.
Some research has found that fresh juice extracted from the herb has healing properties.
To soothe skin irritation with cleavers herb, you can make a healing poultice to apply directly on the affected area. Some herbalists suggest that fresh cleavers leaves help stop bleeding and expedite the healing of wounds, burns, and cuts.
Alternatively you can add cleavers herb to any healing ointment or salve applied to the affected area to boost the cooling and healing effects.
More rigorous scientific research needs to be done to back up these claims, however. Consult your doctor before applying cleavers herb to any cuts, wounds, or burns.
To double the skin healing benefits, herbalists suggest combining cleavers herb with burdock and yellow dock.
Using Cleavers Herb
Cleavers herb can be used in a variety of ways to treat a wide array of illnesses and conditions.
Poultice : To treat wounds, burns, and irritated skin, try making cleavers herb into a healing poultice or hot compress. This will have a cooling and healing effect.
Tincture: Cleavers herb can be purchased in tincture form if you want to take the herb internally.
Tea: Cleavers herb can also be enjoyed as a soothing herbal cup of tea to help deliver such benefits as cleansing the kidneys or reducing inflammation.
Add the Leaves a Lotion: You can also take the leaves of the herb itself and add it to lotions, ointments and salves to help speed up the healing time.
You should consult your doctor before using or consuming cleavers herb or any other herbs to ensure there are no contraindications.