Few plants live up to their name as cleavers, Galium aparine, does. Cleavers comes from the Germanic kleven, which means to stick to something. Just walk through cleavers in the middle of summer and you’ll see what I mean. Cleavers is a plant that I like to get from my garden, but not because I consider it a weed, but because I like to eat it. It is delicious in, for example, a pesto or simply in a salad.
Cleavers certainly has interesting medicinal properties. It is especially a good plant for the kidneys, moisture balance, liver and support of the lymphatic system. In short, it is a very suitable plant to ensure that your daily blood purification and detoxification runs smoothly and in conditions where your ‘waste processing’ plays a role. In addition, its high micronutrient content makes it an excellent plant to strengthen your health and help you recover during or after illness.
The magical properties of cleavers are easy to guess. It is an excellent plant for all matters related to binding and connecting. Think of relationships, but also goals that you want to achieve, and binding people who try to do you harm. The mentioned properties are just a few of cleavers’ properties. Read all about this plant in the rest of the monograph.
Cleavers has a thin root that usually doesn’t go deeper than 50 cm. The stem is branched and square. It is limp and flexible so that the plant easily climbs into other plants and can get quite high up, up to one and a half meters 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 are arranged in whorls of 6 to 8 pieces around the stem. The flowers are small and white and are arranged in cymes of 1 to 7 flowers. They have 4 petals and 4 stamens. After flowering, bilocular fruits are formed, which are also covered with the spiky hairs.
In the past, cleavers was also used as a sort of sieve to remove impurities from milk or other fluids. If you dragged the herb through the milk, hairs and the like 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 prepare cheese because the plant acts as rennet.
You can obtain a red dye from cleavers root.