Here in California, Cleavers is springing up everywhere, growing in full and ripe for harvest! Cleavers (Gallium aparine), a beautiful plant with whorled leaves that grow from the stem in a circle, is part of the Rubiaceae or Madder family. It has small white flowers that bloom on stems originating from the axils of these circles of leaves. I love its delicately beautiful, bright green, freshness. However, this plant is disliked by many due to the small hairs on its leaves that make it stick to clothing or anything else nearby. When the seed matures, it grows additional hairs which act like Velcro and will hitchhike with any passersby. But if I have learned anything from the plant world, it’s that when something sticks to you, it may be because you need it!
Cleavers make a wonderful spring tonic! With diuretic, alterative, astringent, anti-inflammatory and tonic qualities, it is ideal for helping to flush the body of sickness and stagnation after winter/spring. Known for its ability to move congested lymph or swollen lymph glands and helping to clear various urinary tract disorders. Cleavers is the perfect herb to add to a spring cleansing regimen!
Cleavers is a common weed and can usually be found in abundance. If you can positively identify it, gather its green/aerial parts to make a delicious tea. It is also great juiced or pureed in a blender, added to a green drink or smoothies. For convenience, it can be pureed in a blender and kept frozen in ice cube trays. Take one cube per day as your daily tonic dose.