The Complementary Medical Association

Delivering excellence in complementary medicine since 1993

Cleavers – Herbal Remedy

Cleavers Herbal Remedy
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Cleavers (Galium aparine)

Although you may not be sure if you would like to be treated with a herb that also goes by the name ‘stickie willie’, rest assured, it has a great effect on the lymphatic system!

The Greeks called it ‘philanthropon’ meaning ‘loves man’ this is because the prickles on its leaves ensures that it gets carried on the bodies of animals, and the clothes of humans so it can propagate. 

The roasted seeds of this herb make great coffee, but without the caffeine. 

Other names: Goosegrass, clivers, hayriffe, burweed, goosebill, gripgrass, bedstraw, stickie willie, hadgeburs, catchweed.

Description and the places it grows in

This herb grows in Britain, Europe, Asia, and North America.

Parts used

The whole of the plant that grows above ground is used and is harvested before it flowers, which is usually around the June / July time.



The lymphatic system, swollen glands, glandular fever. As the lymphatic system clears toxin and poisons from the body through the urine, this herb is a diuretic that assists in this process. It has been used in the treatment of cancer especially in cases of cancer in the lymphatic system.

Other uses: As a cleansing herb, it is thought to help eczema and psoriasis. It also has a deodorising effect and has been used as an effective deodorant. 


Galiosin, anthraquinone, glycoside, tannins, flavonoids.


None known.

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