22 Apr Spring Herb n.3: Cleavers / Sticky Willy
Dear Nature lovers,
I started writing about my favourite spring herbs to enlighten you and see what our amazing nature is offering to us! You have health all around you and with a few simple tricks and ideas, you can make your life much much healthier 🙂 I have been writing about Nettles and Dandelion already and now it’s time for my next favourite herb. You have seen it not only in my teas, but also all over my clothes 🙂 Yes, my thirds favourite spring herb is Cleavers or as people know it, Sticky Willy. Why sticky? Read on to find out and for more insights on this healing herb 🙂
What is Cleavers and why is it good for you?
Cleavers or Sticky Willy (Gallium aparine) is a lovely herb that is mainly known as a weed in the gardens, as are many other healing plants. It can be used both internally and externally and is mainly known as a diuretic and lymphatic cleanser.
Traditionally it was used in cancer treatments due to its healing and detoxifying properties on lymph nodes. As such, it is an amazing healer when it comes to tonsillitis and most of the fever conditions wherever there is a lymph node enlargement. Furthermore, being such an important cleanser, it help to detoxify not only the lymph nodes but blood as well. What is more, being a diuretic, it helps with various urinary tract infections, most common is a bladder infection.
Externally it is often used for psoriasis due to its anti-inflammatory properties – you can make an infused oil from fresh herb and then make an ointment for your skin. As such, it can help to heal not only psoriasis but wounds and ulcers as well.
Traditional uses go way back and Cleavers was also an alternative to coffee for the poor. What a versatile herb 🙂
Where and when can you find Cleavers?
Absolutely everywhere. That is the thing about it; you may have noticed it already and didn’t even realize how amazing this herb is. If you happen to have a garden and haven’t done your spring weeding just yet, there’s a strong possibility you’ll find Cleavers there 🙂
Spring and summer is the best time to get it as I always mention, due to the vitamins and minerals being absorbed at the spring time. As for the gathering, it is super easy – the roots are generally small and you can either cut the Cleavers with the knife or just pull it out (especially if you don’t want it in your garden anymore). That being said, it is always good to leave a couple of roots – be kind to nature as it is kind to you 🙂
Why is it called Sticky Willy?
Due to its leaves, it sticks like a glue to your clothes 🙂 As such, you don’t necessarily need a bowl when gathering it in the nature – you have your clothes and that’s all you need really! I like to have fun with it and here is Cleavers on my sweater after I was done with gardening 🙂
How can you use it?
You can either make a tea, juice it fresh for detox and add it to smoothies or make a salve for your skin. It is indeed very versatile 🙂 It is said to be the best cleanser when it’s fresh and juiced, but since I don’t have a juicer at the moment, I only use it as a tea.
Cleavers tea anyone?
The taste somewhat resembles the Parsley tea. It doesn’t have a bad taste, but you will need one cup to get used to it 🙂 that being said, if you combine it with Nettles, the taste is perfection 🙂 I make various combinations and my absolutely favourite is Nettle and Cleavers – such a simple and amazingly detoxifying tea for a spring detox 🙂 If you add Plantain to this combination you’ll get a strong spring detox with a healing touch for respiratory conditions. And just today, I made a blend of Red clover and Cleavers for enlarged lymph nodes. Possibilities are endless 🙂
Enjoy your spring days, love yourself and remember:
“Spring detox starts with cleansing all of the thoughts and beliefs that no longer suit you.” – Tina Suklje
Tina @ WorldNaturelle
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Curtis, S., Green, L., Ody, P. & Vilinac, D. (2011). Neal’s Yard Remedies: Cook, Brew, and Blend your own herbs. London: DK
Fleischhauer, S. G., Guthmann, J. & Spiegelberger, R. (2007). Uzitne rastline iz narave: prepoznavanje, nabiranje in uporaba 200 najpomembnejsih vrst [Edible plants from the nature: recognising, harvesting and application of 200 most used species]. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga.
Willfort, R. (1978). Zdravilne rastline in njih uporaba [Healing plants and their application] (original tittle; Gesundheit durch Heilkräuter : Erkennung, Wirkung und Anwendung der wichtigsten einheimischen Heilpflanzen). Maribor: Založba Obzorje Maribor.