Cleavers growing in the yard,
Tangled, sprawling all around
Oh, those itchy, scratchy stems
Make them easy to be found.

Cleavers will often find you before you find it! That’s because it has fine hooked hairs that grab onto anything that moves by it, including the fur of animals and the clothes of people. I’ve even had it grab directly to my skin!

Luckily, though it’s a bit rough, it doesn’t scratch or sting.

Cleavers isn’t often eaten though in the past, this plant has been considered a ‘pot herb’ and was added into soups, stews and the like to help fill the pot.

The plant also works great when it is “hidden” such as in smoothies. It contains niacin, which is vitamin B3, plus vitamin C, calcium, and silica.

Historically, Traditional Western Herbalists have considered Cleavers to be a spring tonic.

This plant has an affinity for the lymphatic and nervous systems, as well as the urinary system.

Cleavers is probably best known for his lymphatic system support. Cleavers helps with swollen lymph nodes, both acute and chronic, especially those found on the back of the head, on the neck, under the chi and around the ears, as well as cysts, especially when there are multiple cysts.

Other lymphatic issues, such as tonsillitis, earaches, adenoid issues and nodular growths are often resolved with the help of Cleavers.

Cleavers has also assisted in shrinking fibroid tumors as well.

Cleavers also has a cleansing effect to the urinary system and the liver, which in turn can help to reduce psoriasis, eczema and other liver-related skin problems.

In addition, Cleavers helps with all things urinary related, including cystitis, irritable bladder, prostatitis, urinary tract infections and kidney inflammation.

Cleavers helps to support the nervous system, and can be helpful for those who are irritated baby the little things. If you know someone who frets over every little detail in life, Cleavers may be the herb for them! 

Making a Cleavers Tincture

Want to learn to make a Cleavers tincture with your kids? Check out my new Monday Making series.

The Clinging Cure Story About Cleavers

Want to listen to “The Clinging Cure”?This story is from the Cleavers issue of Herbal Roots zine and it can be found on YouTube here:

Cleavers Smoothie Recipe

Do your kids like smoothies? I know mine do! This is a great way to “sneak” in herbs while giving them a delicious and nutritious treat!

1 cup of frozen fruit of choice – I like to freeze overripe bananas for part of this to add a natural sweetness or mangos for a tropical addition
1 cup of fresh fruit of choice – blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are great choices, or for a more tropical taste, pineapple. This can be mixed!
1/2 cup yogurt (can be dairy or dairy-free)
1/2 cup fresh herbs, chopped, such as Cleavers, Chickweed, Dandelion greens, Nettles

Add the ingredients to your blender and blend together.

Pour and serve! Makes 2-3 servings.

The Next Step in Your Herbal Journey

The Next Step

Cleavers is a great “beginner” herb for kids to learn about and is part of my “The Next Step” year long course for kids.

To learn more about my courses and to enroll, head to: