Cleavers Benefits

Latin Name

Galium aparine


It grows throughout Britain, Europe, in Asia from Siberia to the Himalayas, and in Canada, the eastern half of the United States, and along the Pacific coast

Parts Used

Aerial parts

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

In Chinese medicine cleavers are used to disperse stagnancy and inflammation and for urinary problems.

It is known traditionally for treating problem skin and flushing the lymph and kidneys. Cleavers is an excellent first aid herbal remedy.

LYMPHATIC HEALER: Cleanses and tones the lymph, relieves swollen glands.
DIURETIC: Flushing and decongesting to the kidneys and urinary system, treats cystitis and water retention
BLOOD CLEANSER: Purifies and detoxifies the blood
SKIN HEALER: Astringent and Antiseptic, treats irritation, inflammation, wounds and burns.

Good For:
Urinary Infection, Water retention, Oedema, Cystitis, Swollen Glands, Tonsilitis, Ulcers, Lumps, Tumours, Eczema, Psoriasis, Boils, Abscesses, Skin irritations, Wounds and Burns.

Lymph healer:
Cleavers is known traditionally for its use in tonifying and cleansing the Lymphatic system. It is a naturally diuretic so it is also good for the kidneys and urinary tract. So Cleavers can be used to treat cystitis and urinary conditions. Because it tonifies the lymph, it can relieve swollen glands, and water retention or oedema. It has been known for its use in the treatment of ulcers, lumps in the breast, and tumours. It has a flushing, decongesting and cleansing effect on the body including the blood.

Skin healer:
Cleavers is also known for its use externally. Cleavers is calming to skin irritations, and has an astringent and antiseptic action, making this herb good for healing wounds. It will reduce inflammation, detoxify and and cleanse the skin so can be used to treat eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis, as well as boils and abscesses. It is always helpful to keep cleavers as part of a herbal first aid kit. It is even effective in soothing sunburn.

Lymphatic System:
The Lymphatic system is responsible for flushing the bi-products of cell renewal and toxins down into the bloodstream to be cleansed by the liver and kidneys.

Cleavers stimulates the lymph and has a detoxifying, diuretic effect, whilst also cleansing and toning the kidney and urinary tract, so it really completes the action of releasing toxins from the body effectively. In this way it is known to support the body in de-congesting and purifying. Cleavers has been known to prevent and clear urinary stones and treat urinary infection and inflammation.

Typical Use

To make Cleavers leaf into a tea:
Use 1 cup of boiling water to 2-3 teaspoonfuls of Cleavers.
Leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 2-3 times a day for desired effects.

To take Cleavers tincture:
Take up to 2-4ml, up to 3 times a day.

Folklore and History

Also known as: Cleavers, Goosegrass, Barweed, Hedgeheriff, Hayriffe, Eriffe, Grip Grass, Hayruff, Catchweed, Scratweed, Mutton Chops, Robin-run-in-the-grass, Loveman, Goosebill, Everlasting friendship.


Tannins, flavonoids, anthraquinones glycoside.


None known.