Cleavers is probably one of the most commonly found herbs which I use in my dispensary. It is wonderfully sticky thanks to it’s minute velcro-like-hooks and you may have stuck it to friends when at school. For this reason it is given the name sticky willy. It’s name “cleave-ers” comes from the phrase “to cleave” meaning, ‘stick fast to’ or ‘adhere strongly’. It was traditionally used to create a crude sieve and this is a good way to visualise it’s use which we are focussing on today; it’s ability to cleanse the lymph.

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels which contains a fluid which drains things out of the blood so that it can be excreted. It is traditionally known as a blood cleanser, a term we don’t really use anymore. It was a term used for something which helped clear infection via the lymph. Cleavers is used for things such as fevers, boils, abscesses, dermatitis and eczema as a result.

It’s particularly high in water content and I’d highly recommend an old fashioned juicing technique to make the most of this plant this spring. It’ll put a spring in your step believe me!

  1. Forage for some Cleavers!
  2. Rinse your Cleavers
  3. Smash them into a pulp using the end of a rolling pin
  4. cover with cold water and let sit over night
  5. In the morning drain off the water and this is your end product!

The gorgeous luminous green of the Cleaver’s juice is like our native wheat grass juice. Packed with nutrients and blood cleansing properties. Have a shot-glass full each day but beware the water won’t keep for long. A good way to store it is to freeze it in ice cube trays and pop them into smoothies.

EDIT 2016: I have tried this method with Dandelion leaf and Chickweed too and it's delicious. Especially, if you add a dash of lemon juice. 

Listen to the Podcast on Cleavers here. Or join the Mystery Herb Club to gain access to my monograph on it. 

By Natasha Richardson

Disclaimer: Please don’t use any herbs featured on this website for medicinal reasons without contacting your health practitioner first.

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