Sunday, 1 December 2013

Collecting Cleavers

This medicinal weed is easy to identify with its 4 sided stem and slender leaves that grow in whorled clusters. It grows in shaded areas and near streams. The unique characteristic of Cleavers is that the whole plant clings to you as you walk by due to its small hooks on the leaves. Later in the season its small round seeds cling to animal fur and socks like velcro. Also know as northern bedstraw, Cleavers is mostly used medicinally, compared to the non sticky variety of bedstraw that has a sweet smell and taste which makes it edible. I blend cleavers with nettles, marshmallow, and uva ursi for urinary tract health. Some clients have benefited from the tea as part of a natural protocol clear kidney stones. Another tea made with calendula flowers, cleavers, and mullein supports healthy lymphatic function and can reduce edema.

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