Another common name for cleavers is Goosegrass. Cleavers has a rich history of traditional use; Native American tribes used this herb to promote kidney health and as a remedy for infections. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is used as an anti-inflammatory herb and to move stagnation. With a strong connection to the lymphatic system, cleavers is also used as a diuretic (to promote urination).
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. Its primary function is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. For this reason cleavers is the ultimate springtime herb and appears when immune systems are in need of a boost [i].
The liver is the main detoxification organ of the body. Various studies have confirmed the hepato-protective effect of Cleavers. It not only protects the liver from damage, it helps it to heal with its cleansing properties. Cleavers also stimulates bile production and prevents bile ducts from becoming clogged [ii] [iii].
The diuretic action of Cleavers helps to flush out waste, toxins and excess fluid from the kidneys. This helps with detoxification via the urine. A diuretic effect also helps to lower the volume of fluid in the blood, which helps to lower blood pressure. However it is advisable that those with pre-existing kidney conditions must speak to a general practitioner before using any diuretic herbs [iv].
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s):
With a long history of traditional herbal use for UTI’s, Cleavers diuretic properties coupled with its soothing action on mucus membranes lining the bladder, make this herb ideal for calming UTI-associated inflammation. Regular drinking of Cleavers tea can act as a preventative measure for the incidence of recurring UTI’s. A publication from the “Indian Journal of Research in Pharmacy and Biotechnology” recommends Cleavers for acute or chronic cystitis with swollen lymph nodes and uterine inflammation [v].
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if cleavers is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Be cautious and avoid use.
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