Monday, 30 November -0001

Home Remedy: Cleavers

Written by Sof McVeigh
Cleavers, more commonly known as sticky grass or goosegrass, are in full throttle at this time of year, climbing through everything. Some gardeners hate them, as they can be thugs – but I've always found it satisfying to pull them up and I love their stickiness. They remind me of the camps we used to have as children when they made the best roof.

As for their use as a home remedy, they have long been known as a diuretic (which increases the flow of urine), so they help bladder infections and prostate irritation. Generally, they reduce inflammation and swelling, particularly oedema (fluid retention in soft tissues), as they tone and detoxify the lymph system.

Due to the variety of tannic acids in cleavers, they have good antibacterial and astringent qualities, which help in healing wounds. They are also found in skin creams for psoriasis (under the Latin name Galium aparine). To make your own bath soak with dried or fresh leaves, simply tie about 50g cleavers in a muslin square, or in the foot of old tights, and immerse at bath time.

Sof McVeigh:

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