top of page


Cleavers Monograph

Botanical name

Galium Aparine

Common Name

Cleavers, Kleefkruid catchweed, goose grass, grip grass, sticky willow



Parts Used

Aerial parts

Native To

Europe, Asia

Harvesting Guidelines

Cleavers, also known as Galium aparine, is a popular herb used by herbalists for its medicinal properties. However, there is some debate among herbalists about the best time to harvest the herb. Some suggest harvesting when the plant is in full bloom but before seeds have formed, while others recommend waiting until the plant is in bloom and seeds have started to form. Still, others prefer to gather the herb before it starts to flower. Regardless of when it is harvested, it is important to dry the herb immediately and turn it regularly to ensure proper airflow and prevent blackening.


Cleavers is a flowering plant that is native to Europe and North America. It is an annual plant that can grow up to six feet tall and has small, white or green flowers that bloom in the summer.

Cleavers, also known as Galium aparine, is a versatile herb that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It is known for its ability to support the lymphatic system, aiding in detoxification and cleansing of the body. Additionally, it is a beneficial herb for the genito-urinary system, helping to promote healthy urinary function. Cleavers is also believed to have energetic properties, helping to untangle emotional issues related to relationships and boundaries. (1)

Cleavers, a herb known for its refreshing and cleansing properties, is often used as a tonic for the lymphatic system. It is particularly popular in the spring, when it is believed to help clear out stagnation and prepare the body for warmer weather. Cleavers is considered a sweet tonic and is safe for children to consume. It is a gentle herb that can be taken daily to nourish and build the body. Interestingly, it is one of the few lymphatics that is suitable for Vata people, who are typically thin, dry, and prone to nervousness. If a lymph node becomes enlarged, Cleavers may be used immediately to combat inflammation due to its cooling nature. (2)

Cleavers is also a popular ingredient in skin care products due to its ability to soothe and cleanse the skin. It is believed to be particularly effective for oily or acne-prone skin, as it helps to unclog pores and reduce inflammation.

In addition to its medicinal and skin care uses, cleavers has also been used as a culinary herb. The young shoots and leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in soups and stews. The seeds of the plant can also be roasted and used as a coffee substitute.

Cleavers has been considered supportive for a range of skin conditions including eruptions such as dry eczema, psoriasis, scrofula, scurvy, and burns. (3)

Cleavers, also known as Galium aparine, is an herb that is most effective when used fresh. It is commonly used in infusions, juices, and tinctures. However, it is important to note that boiling or decocting the herb can significantly reduce its potency. To get the most out of cleavers, it is recommended to decoct it in cold water overnight, as hot water can diminish its effectiveness.(4)

How to make cleavers tea (cold infusion)

Adult Dose (5)


2-3 tsp dried herb


Cleavers, an herb known for its mild and non-toxic properties, is generally safe for consumption. However, it is important to note that individuals with diabetes should exercise caution when using this herb due to its strong diuretic effects and cooling properties. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating cleavers into your diet.

Actions Alterative,Anti-inflammatory,Anti-tumoral,Aperient,Astringent,Demulcent,Detoxicant,Dissolvent,Diuretic,Hypotensive,Lymphatic,Nervine,Refrigerant,Styptic,Tonic

Energy Cooling,Drying



(3)Wood, M. (2008). The earthwise herbal: A complete guide to old world medicinal plants. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

(4) Wood, M. (2008). The earthwise herbal: A complete guide to old world medicinal plants. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. p.270

(5) Medical Herbalism by David Hoffman

Information offered on Achula and on this page is for educational purposes only. Achula makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Women who are pregnant or nursing, and persons with known medical conditions, should consult their licensed healthcare provider before taking any herbal product. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. Achula neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.


bottom of page