Scientific: Galium aparine [WikiPedia]
isolated from the aerial parts of cleavers (Galium aparine) include
anthraquinon, iridoid glucosides, saponins, citric acid, coumarin,
rubichloric acid, gallotannic acid, galiosin, and tannins.
Appearance: The Galium genus
is large and widespread, with no fewer than thirteen species. The annual
varieties are sprawlers and climbers, often forming ground-covering
mats with much weaker taproots and more delicate stems and leaves than
perennial species. The plants have square stems and slender leaves that
grow in whorled clusters like bicycle spokes or two to eight leaves.
Flowers are small and white to greenish in colour.
Parts Used: Entire plant
Common Uses: Herbalists have
long regarded cleavers as a valuable lymphatic tonic. The dried or fresh
herb is said to have anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, astringent,
diaphoretic, stimulant, laxative and diuretic properties. It stimulates
the lymphatic system and has shown to be beneficial in skin related
problems. Cleavers has cooling properties as well. Cleavers makes an
excellent facial wash as it tightens the loose and sagging skin caused
by wrinkling. This plant works very well in treating eczema, psoriasis,
seborrhoea, acne, boils and abscesses, arthritis and gout. Cleavers is
also useful in treating swollen lymph glands, or congested glands and
congestion in the breasts. The cooling properties of Cleavers makes is
useful in reducing fevers and resolving infections associated with skin
eruptions such as measles and chickenpox. It also works in soothing
tonsillitis, hepatitis, cystitis and arthritis. This herb stimulates
liver function and improves digestion and absorption. Externally the
fresh leaves can be applied to cuts and wounds, or to help stop bleeding
and enhance healing. The leaves also soothe burns, sunburn, acne and
other skin inflammations. Bathing in the juice of the plant works to
soothe and heal varicose ulcers. In 1947, French researchers discovered
and extract of Cleavers to be effective in lowering blood pressure, by
thinning the blood.
Alternatives and Adjuncts:
Lymphatic application, combine with calendula, echinacea or astragalus.
Skin and liver, combine with dandelion, burdock, Oregon grape, milk
thistle and yellow dock. Tumours, combine with red clover, licorice,
violet or aloe.
Topic Specific References:
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and
other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe
and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any
other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.
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