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Galium aparine

Updated: Jul 1, 2021


Other names: Cleavers, Clivers, Goose Grass, Sweetheart, Bed Straw

Medicinal Actions: alterative, anti-inflammatory, lymphatic tonic, diuretic

Qualities: cooling, moistening

Affinities: skin, lymph

Safety issues: none

An extremely common herbaceous plant that grows throughout the hedgerows of Britain. It particularly likes to grow tangled up with other plants (see below). The mainly linear, sessile leaves grow on whorls along the stem in groups of 6-8. The small, white flowers have 4 petals, sometimes with a pinkish tinge. Children used to break parts off and fling them at their sweethearts. All aerial parts stick to clothing and animals thanks to the tiny hairs that cover the plant.

The action of this plant makes it useful in aiding the body's own elimination systems, or cases where there is hotness and dryness, such as: painful urination, cystitis, tonsilitis, skin complaints (especially psoriasis), PMT with associated skin complaints. It is best used fresh in vegetable soups and juices, similar to chickweed and nettle, or an infusion.

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