Healthy Living

Cleavers: A Versatile Plant with Medicinal and Culinary Uses

Cleavers, also known as “Galium aparine,” is a plant that belongs to the Rubiaceae family. This plant is commonly found in damp and shady areas, such as woods, meadows, and riverbanks. It is a climbing plant that has thin and prickly stems, which can grow up to six feet long. Cleavers have tiny green leaves that are arranged in whorls around the stem, and small white flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer.

Cleavers have been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for centuries. In this article, we will discuss the various uses of Cleavers, as well as the different ways you can use them.

Medicinal uses of Cleavers

Cleavers have been used for various medicinal purposes, including treating skin conditions, lymphatic congestion, and urinary tract infections. Here are some of the medicinal uses of Cleavers:

Skin health

Skin Health

Cleavers are used in treating skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce skin inflammation and redness. Cleavers also help in detoxifying the skin and removing impurities.

Lymphatic congestion

Cleavers have diuretic properties that help in flushing out toxins and excess fluids from the body. It also helps in treating lymphatic congestion, which is a condition where the lymphatic system is not functioning correctly.

Urinary tract infections

Cleavers are used in treating urinary tract infections. It has antibacterial properties that help in killing bacteria that cause infections.

Culinary uses of Cleavers

Cleavers are also used in culinary dishes. The young leaves and stems of Cleavers are edible and have a slightly bitter taste. Here are some of the culinary uses of Cleavers:

Soups and stews

Cleavers can be used in soups and stews to add flavor and nutrition.

Smoothies and juices

Cleavers can be added to smoothies and juices to add a slightly bitter taste and increase the nutritional value.


Cleavers Tea

Cleavers can be brewed into tea and consumed as a hot beverage. It has a slightly bitter taste and is known to have detoxifying properties.

Ways to use Cleavers

Cleavers can be used in various ways, including as a tea, tincture, or poultice. Here are some ways you can use Cleavers:


To make Cleavers tea, add one tablespoon of dried Cleavers to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 minutes, strain and enjoy.


To make a Cleavers tincture, fill a jar with fresh Cleavers leaves and stems. Cover the Cleavers with alcohol, such as vodka, and let it sit for six weeks. After six weeks, strain the tincture and store it in a dark glass bottle.


To make a Cleavers poultice, crush fresh Cleavers leaves and stems into a paste. Apply the paste directly to the affected area, such as a skin rash or insect bite.

In conclusion, Cleavers is a versatile plant that has various medicinal and culinary uses. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and diuretic properties that help in treating various conditions, such as skin problems, lymphatic congestion, and urinary tract infections. Cleavers can be consumed as a tea or added to soups, stews, and smoothies. It can also be used as a poultice to treat skin conditions. With its numerous benefits, Cleavers is a must-have in your herb garden.

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