Our most valued member of the Galium family (which includes Bedstraw and Woodruff amongst others), Cleavers, when used fresh, is a remarkable remedy. We harvest the rough green leaves and stems throughout the summer from wet spots and streamsides in the woods, or cultivate it in gardens where it does quite well as long as it has something to climb on.
Elemental associations: Fire
Phytochemistry: Glycosides, plant acids
Actions: Lymphatic, diuretic, urinary tonic, reproductive tonic
Specific systems: Lymphatic, urinary, reproductive
The rough stem of Cleavers will not let you go once you’ve found it in the woods. By this signature, we see that it is good for clinging, irritating conditions, especially ones in the genitor-urinary systems: chronic urinary tract infections, chronic swollen lymph glands, sexually transmitted diseases and their aftereffects (in the latter case, use remedies for acute support as well as Cleavers for a long-term solution). It seems somehow (quoting Dorothy Hall) that this remedy has a special affinity to the male system, although as we know any tonic for men is equally valuable for women.
Its lymphatic power will have an effect on stubborn skin conditions (psoriasis especially) as well.
Indications: Lymphedema (swollen glands), chronic urinary tract infections and cystitis, sexually transmitted disease, skin conditions.
Contraindications: None really.
Preparation/Dosage: Cleavers is really only good when fresh. A tea of the fresh plant is quite tasty and effective (6 TBS per quart of water, prepared by infusion), but for convenience I usually use a tincture, prepared at 1:4, and taken in ¼ tsp. doses many times (5 or more) a day. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this remedy to improve diuresis and elimination of lymphatic toxins.