I remember playing outside as a child and returning home to find long green weeds sticking to my clothes. My socks were often covered with them!
Now I know that these green plants are much more than weeds because they are herbs called cleavers or goosegrass.
Its amazing to realise that cleavers can be eaten and have suggested medicinal properties.
Trip to the Lakes
I brought two herbs home from a trip to the Lake District. I found the cleavers and ramsons in a wooded area.
Take a look at this link to see what I did with the ramsons;
Seeing the cleavers just beginning to grow I foraged a few. February and March is the best time to forage cleavers because its best to eat as a vegetable when it is very young. Picking before the seeds appear in the summer is important because as it ages cleavers will become bitter in taste.
Cleavers can be found by roadsides, in hedgerows and gardens. Personally I avoid roadsides because the herbs may become covered with emissions from passing vehicles.
Firstly I washed the cleavers and gave them a good shake to rid them of drops of water.
Next I put them up in a blender and the smell they produce after chopping is amazing. They smelt like fresh cut grass and made me think of beautiful summer days.
I read that cleavers can be added to soup and stews. It can also be sprinkled onto salads as a good spring tonic.
Therefore I added half a teaspoon to a pasta sauce I had just made. I only eat a tiny portion of a new herb at first to ensure that I do not get an allergic reaction.
It was pleasing to see that I didn’t react negatively to the cleavers. As I result I decided to dry the rest and use it as tea.
Spreading the chopped cleavers onto a paper towel and covering them with a brown paper bag I left them to dry. I cover my drying herbs because I don’t like them to get covered in dust.
After a week my cleavers were dry and ready to brew.
Making Cleavers Tea
I put one teaspoonful of dried cleavers into a tea infuser and placed it into a cup of boiling water. This is a good way to infuse dried herbs because you don’t need to restrain them into another cup.
Here is a link to see the type of tea infusers available;
I left my infuser in for ten minutes but five to fifteen minutes is fine. It depends upon the preferred strength of the tea.
Its ok to drink this tea up to three times a day.
It was pleasantly surprising to find that even the tea smelt of fresh cut grass. I felt like I was drinking in a lovely sunny day.
To store the rest of my dried cleavers I put them into in a sealed brown paper bag. I store dried herbs for one year and always put their expiry date on for a year from the date I dry them.
Labelling the bag of herbs I included the expiry date and suggested uses of the herb.
I’m pleased I like the taste of the tea because I have read that it may help support the body as a lymphatic cleanser. Due to having breast cancer many years ago this attracted me to this herb. Mainly because of finding my cancer in my lymph nodes.
I also read that cleavers may support the body with regards to cysts. Again this interested me because my doctors informed me that my remaining breast is very cystic. This means that it can feel lumpy which doesn’t help when I test myself for lumps.
If your unfortunate enough to be going through breast cancer yourself here is my story and tips which may help;
Its suggested that cleavers may help support the body to heal itself with regards to;
- Breast Cysts
- Fluid retention
- Irritable bladder
- Kidney stones
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis
- Urinary problems
Taking the juice makes cleavers strongly diuretic and I have read that the juice has been taken by cancer sufferers. I strongly suggest that if you are unfortunate enough to have cancer that you speak to your doctors before taking any kind of herbal alternatives. Herbs may negatively interact with existing medication.
In fact being on any kind of medication I would always suggest speaking with your doctor before trying alternative treatments.
Unfortunately I didn’t grab enough of the cleavers to juice this time around but I will try this next time.
Please be aware that you never know if you’re intolerant to something new until you try it for the first time. Therefore only try a tiny amount first and wait a day or two to check that there is no adverse reaction.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medications, always check with your doctor to ensure that using any of these suggestions don’t contradict them.
Also ensure you are a 100% sure what a herb is before you use or consume it. If in any doubt don’t.
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