Few plants live up to their name as cleavers, Galium aparine, does. Cleavers comes from the Germanic verb kleven, which means to stick. Just walk through cleavers in the middle of summer and you will understand why. This is a plant I prefer to remove from my garden. Not because I consider it a weed, but because I like to eat it. It is delicious in, for example, a pesto or in a salad.
Cleavers certainly has interesting medicinal properties. It is a good plant for the kidneys, fluid balance, liver and support of the lymphatic system. In short, it is a suitable plant to ensure that your daily blood purification and detoxification runs smoothly and for conditions in which your ‘waste processing’ plays a role.
In addition, cleavers has a high micronutrient content, which makes it an excellent plant to strengthen your health with and help to recover during or after illness.
The magical properties of cleavers are easy to guess. It is an excellent plant for all things related to binding and bonding. Think of relationships, but also goals you want to achieve and binding people who try to harm you.
Cleaver has a thin root that usually does not go deeper than 50 cm. The stem is branched and square. It is limp and flexible, so that the plant can easily climb into other plants. As a result, cleavers can reach great heights, sometimes up to 1.5 metres high. All parts of the plant are covered with stiff hairs that act like hooks, making them stick to plants and animals.
The leaves are narrow and lanceolate and arranged in whorls of six to eight around the stem. The flowers are small and white and arranged in cymes of one to seven flowers. They have four petals and four stamens. After flowering, the bilocular fruits are formed, which are also covered with the aforementioned hairs.
In the past, cleavers was used as a kind of sieve to remove impurities from milk or other liquid. If you dragged the herb through the milk, hairs and such would stick to it, making them easy to remove.
Because cleavers easily sticks to fur, it spreads quickly and efficiently.
Cleavers can be used to make cheese because the plant acts as rennet.
You can obtain a red dye from the root of cleavers.
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