Cleavers is a member of the madder family. It is also known as goose grass, because the geese like it so well. It is also called bedstraw, hedge burs, madder and many more. If you ever handle this plant, you will never forget it. The whole plant has little soft hooks that cling to almost everything, clothes and skin. Cleavers is helpful to the liver and the pancreas and the spleen. Old herbals speak of using cleavers tea to rid the body of toxic wastes, purify the blood and promote healing. Cleavers is widely used by Western herbalists to treat edema and other forms of swelling because of its stimulating effect on the lymphatic system. I’ve often encountered this “weed” in my own garden and found it quite annoying, trying to get the tendrils off me as they stick like glue. If I’d known what a great herbal it is, I believe I would have pulled it off and eaten it.
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