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Cleavers (Galium aparine) a.k.a Sweethearts, Goosegrass, Sticky Willy...

Updated: Feb 16, 2018


This is the spindly, sticky, green hedgerow plant can often be seen growing with Nettles. It’s the one the kids throw at you on walks, it sticks to your clothes & tangles up your hair. It has tiny white flowers by summer & later in the year the little, green seed balls that your dogs may carry in their coats. Well, this unattractive plant, which makes you think of a cat’s tongue as soon as you touch it, is an extremely useful, under estimated, British spring green!


Cleavers are probably one of the stickiest, unappetising plants going. So, I take great pleasure in letting you know you should eat them! We should see these, sticky weeds as vegetables & at the end of the day, no matter how unappealing they seem, they are extremely good for you, safe to use & have great health benefits, which are sadly too often ignored. The young plant can be steamed with a little salt & pepper or the whole plant can be added to soups & blended. If you are a smoothie drinker, you could add these as a cleansing, seasonal vegetable. They don’t actually taste too bad. In China they are eaten regularly in slimming regimes as they are strongly diuretic & eliminate excess fluid in the body.


They are diuretic, which means they increase the volume of fluid your body eliminates by making you wee more. This increase in fluid activity within the body gives us the chance to eliminate toxins, as the body can take the opportunity to flush through properly. If there is already fluid retention, Cleavers will increase the body’s fluid metabolism & eliminate the excess fluid as urine.


Cleavers have a close relationship with the body’s drainage system & are very useful taken as a tea or a juice for

· swollen lymph nodes

· prostate enlargement

· water retention

· Urinary difficulty or tract discomfort from cystitis


They can be taken as a tea, up to three times a day or as a small glass of juice if the fresh plant is available. This plant is classified as 'safe' although if you take too much your stool will become loose. Reduce the amount if this happens & rest assured you have had a good clear out! (Your stool will return to normal within 24 hours.)


The information presented on this blog is for informational, reference and educational purposes only. This page is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. The information may not be suitable to every individual. Always consult a health care professional or medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any medicinal herb, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises. Your use of the information on this page and any associated information is at your own risk.

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