Cleavers – Herbs in Your Backyard That You Can Use to Your Advantage


Supposedly geese also enjoy cleavers, which inspires this bird's other comical nickname, “gooseweed.” The following will tell you where you can find cleavers and what their remarkable uses are.

I usually find my cleavers throughout the woodlands where I live but you can also find them growing heartily in thicket environments too. They are quite pretty in a delicate way, gracefully drooping as they grow up to a few feet long and timidly offering for our viewing enjoyment a dainty white flower that shows on the stalks from the leaf axils. The plant should be gathered before flowering and dried in the shade.

Cleavers are a lymphatic alterative or tonic, restoring health to an overtaxed lymph structure which is trying to keep your immune system in top shape. I highly recommend reading up on this quiet network that does so much! One of my favorite doctors refers to the lymphatic system as the “Cinderella system”, staying in the shadows, cleaning up all the messes the rest of the body systems make, while really filling the highest and most noble function of enabling the body to fight disease. So anywhere in the body where swollen glands are present – especially tonsillitis or adenoid problems- is a perfect scenario for cleavers to come to aid. A suggested lymph cleansing infusion is this mixture, derived from Rosemary Gladstar’s HerbalRecipes: 2 parts calendula, 2 parts cleavers, 1 part mullein and 1 part spearmint.  If you use about an ounce of herbs to a quart of water and let it infuse overnight, you can be set for an entire day the next day. She suggests drinking 2-3 cups daily for a few weeks to drain the lymph system.

The actions attributed to cleavers are: diuretic, alterative, anti-inflammatory, tonic, astringent, anti-neoplastic, hepatic, laxative, and vulnerary. Cleavers can also bring relief in urinary tract infections and are widely used topically to relieve dry skin conditions, like psoriasis. Cleavers have been used in the treatment of ulcers and tumors and have been used in experimentation with dogs as an agent in reducing blood pressure without slowing the heart or having any other side effects!

Using cleavers as a tea is the easiest way to use this wonderful herb, soaking a tablespoon of the dried flakes for some minutes and drinking it. Actually, cleavers are a light caffeine substitute for coffee!

Nature, in its infinite wisdom, brings all sorts of eatable “weeds” and grasses to us; wonderful for salads, teas and – yes – medicine.

Go to Ultimate Survival Tips and read more on cleavers!


  1. Damien Dilliplane said:

    the aerial parts are the best and most potent to use,the plant itself is a pretty good blood purifier to help the body filter out things that it can’t normally by itself. its a diuretic,lymphatic cleanser, & a mild astrigent. it can also be eaten as a vegetable to be boiled in stews or sweat it out in a frying pan like spinach. it’s also really good to make in a cream to help relieve psoriasis