Everything is growing in the garden at the moment including this lovely plant – Cleavers. This is the sticky type herb that clings to you and later in the year has little sticky seeds.
Don’t discard this lovely little plant! Rather than throwing it onto the compost, this is a perfect, highly nutritious Spring tonic.
Cleavers works through the urinary and lymphatic systems (think of its little lumpy seeds) eliminating waste through the kidneys.
Because it enhances lymphatic circulation Cleavers may help with tonsillitis and glandular fever. It may also alleviate cystitis and irritable bladder due to its action on the liver.
Cleavers is a cooling herb and assists in reducing inflammation. It may also be helpful with arthritis and gout. In vitro studies have identified anti-proliferative properties of some of its constituents as well as its ability to induce cell aptopsis (death) in breast cancer cells.
How can I use Cleavers?
You can use cleavers like any culinary herb – it can be added to soups, stews, curries, risottos or juices or you can make a hot tea infused with boiling water for around 15 minutes.
If using its cooling properties, it should be infused with cold or room temperature water for around 8 hours (overnight) and then drunk.
Here’s a recipe for Cleavers pesto to excite your taste buds:
- 2 cups fresh cleavers (packed down well)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic (roasted or fresh)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional but recommended)
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and fresh ground pepper
Blend cleavers, parmesan, nuts and garlic together. Pour the oil in slowing, little by little, mixing all the time. Add a little salt and pepper, along with the lemon juice. Blend until the pesto is smooth, taste and season further if necessary.
Remember when gathering herbs, do not gather where pesticides have been sprayed. Always wash herbs before eating. Don’t destroy the whole plant when foraging – take a little from each plant, leaving it space to grow back.
If you have recurring cystitis or irritable bladder, why not book a review? Dietary modifications, plus herbal support may help – firstname.lastname@example.org.