Cleavers (aka Clivers) is a versatile and valuable plant.

CleaversIt is one of the most powerful restorative herbs for the lymphatic system, cleavers is beneficial in treating swollen glands, tonsillitis and adnoid problems.

Internally and externally, it is effective in the treatment of many types of inflammations including relieving skin conditions, acne, pimples, rashes and burns. It is a blood purifier and has diuretic qualities.

It is effective in treating urinary tract infections, kidney stones, cystitis and can ease the painful swelling of urinary and reproductive organs.

A decoction or infusion made from fresh Cleavers is said to be useful for sunburn and freckles when applied externally with a soft cloth.

The Plant

The narrow, lance-shaped leaves look as if they possess whorls of six leaves, but each whorl has only two real leaves. One may be recognized by having a bud or shoot arising from its axil, the other four are stipules, two belonging to each leaf. They are about 1/2 inch long and 1/4 inch broad and are arranged in rosettes or whorls, six or eight together, rough all over both margins and surface with prickles pointing backwards. The flowers are two or three together. They spring from the axils of the leaves and are small and star-like, either white or greenish-white. They are followed by little globular seed-vessels, about 8 inch in diameter, covered with hooked bristles and, like the leaves, stick to whatever they touch. This is how the seeds are dispersed.


The seeds of Cleavers dried and slightly roasted over a fire have the flavor of coffee. Brew the whole plant as a decoction and it’s more like tea. The plant has no odor and has a bitterish and somewhat astringent taste.


The chemical constituents are chlorophyll, starch, a tannic acid (galitannic acid), citric acid and a rubichloric acid.


Dosage, up to three times per day: five to ten #0 capsules, or half to one teaspoon of the extract or tincture, or one cup of an infusion. Externally, apply as needed.

Click to listen highlighted text!