Florentina Lam-Clark 29 March 2022
Ayurveda takes a multi-disciplinary approach to increasing vitality and health, by accessing herbal medicine, diet, yoga, meditation, pranayama and self-care practices. Prevention is key and is based upon healthy lifestyle choices, that are in harmony with the natural cycles of nature.
Nature has a way of providing what we need to support our health and wellbeing, just at the right time. Right now Cleavers (Gallium Aparine) is starting to appear around hedgerows, in gardens, woodland, forest and watercourse in the UK.
Also known as “ sticky weed” for it’s ability to stick to absolutely everything and anything as a way of climbing and clambering as it grows.
Cleavers is the herb supreme for our Lymphatic System.
Our Lymphatic System comprises of an intricate network of vessels, nodes and organs, absolutely vital to our health, as one of its main functions, is to get rid of toxins, waste and other unwanted cells. Another important function is our immune defence system, where the Lymph Fluid is transported through the network of vessels, tissues and organs carrying white blood cells around the body to help fight infection.
The plant contains properties that are anti-inflammatory, tonic, astringent, anti-neoplastic (prevents the growth of tumours), alterative (restores proper function of the body, to increase health and vitality).
Cleavers improves the Lymphatic System’s ability to flush out toxins, ease congestion, reduce swelling and increase immunity. Its’ use is indicated when there is an infection such as tonsillitis and swollen lymph glands, in neck, armpits or groins.
It is an effective diuretic, so it helps flush the kidneys and it is indicated in the treatment of urinary tract infections.
Cleavers also has an affinity for the skin, it has a cooling quality that is useful in treating eczema, psoriasis, acne, boils and other skin infections and inflammation.
It is an easy herb to forage and benefit from the healing properties, in a variety of ways. The best time to harvest, is from early March until mid-summer, when it is the most tender, juicy and nutritious.
Cleavers Herbal Tonic Tea Infusion
The delicate properties of cleavers and destroyed by hot water, so use the “cold water” method of infusion to gain the benefits of this cooling, energising, tonic drink. It has a similar taste and coolness of cucumber, which makes it palatable and refreshing.
Place a handful of fresh cleavers in a mortar. Use a pestle to bash the herb and release the juices.
Place the herbs in a bowl or a mason jar.
Cover with approximately a pint of cold water.
Add half a slice of lemon and leave overnight in the fridge to steep.
In the morning, sieve the herbs and enjoy 2-3 cups of lymphatic cleansing tea.
It’s not a herb that dries well so it is best to use it fresh.
Up until the 1900’s Cleavers was cultivated and grown as a vegetable for use in cooking, salads and garnishes. Add the fresh leaves to salads, soups, juices and smoothies.
It is an incredibly safe herb to use with no side effects or drug interactions. It grows freely and abundantly so enjoy!
If you are interested to know more about Ayurvedic ways of natural living, look out for more blogs.
Also see the Ayurveda & Yoga Series of Workshops you can attend at Yogahome in Stoke Newington, London. The next one is on Sunday 8th May 2022. It is Immune Boosting Ayurveda Rituals Workshop. You can go here for more information and to book your place.