Spring has sprung and it is traditionally time for cleansing the body of a winter full of heavy foods. Traditionally, herbs such as Dandelion, Burdock, Chickweed, Violet, Nettle and of course Cleavers were eaten often to help cleanse the liver from a wintertime of no fresh vegetables. Cleavers is best known for his ability to cleanse the lymph but he does work on other parts of the body as well, including the urinary tract.
Cleavers also has an affinity for the nervous systems and kidneys. Energetically, Cleavers is cooling and moistening. He is considered sweet and salty in taste.
Cleavers is used as an alterative, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, astringent, detoxifying, diuretic and lymphatic.
Because of his affinity for the lymphatic system, his alterative and lymphatic actions help him to cleanse the system. Swollen lymph nodes, chronic swollen glands found on the neck, back of the head, under the chin and around the ears can be reduced with the use of Cleavers. Other cysts have also been found to reduce such as breast cysts, especially when there are numerous cysts. You may remember studying Red Clover and how she is good for treating single cysts. Cleavers covers the other end of the spectrum, handling multiple cysts with ease.
Cleavers can be used for treating tonsillitis, earaches, adenoid problems and nodular growths, all of which are related to the lymphatic system. Fibroid tumors, benign and cancerous tumors all have effectively been shrunk using Cleavers as well.
As an alterative, Cleavers cleanses the kidneys and liver. Psoriasis, eczema and other skin afflictions are often caused by over-burdened livers. By cleansing the liver, a lot of people have found relief in these skin afflictions. If you have any kind of skin problems, try using Cleavers. Cleavers has been been found effective in treating scar tissue, insect bites and slow to heal wounds. For those suffering from psoriasis, diet needs to be examined and vitamin D added.
As a diuretic, Cleavers assists in all things urinary related but especially in cystitis, urethritis, irritable bladder, prostatitis, urinary tract infections and kidney inflammation. His astringency also helps with treating these ailments as well. Combining his diuretic actions with his cooling nature, he is a perfect choice for treating burning irritations of the bladder.
Feeling a bit sluggish? Want to do some spring cleaning in your body? Try this Cleavers Tonic drink!
Cleansing Cleavers Tonic
3 cups chopped Cleavers stems and leaves
1 cup chopped Chickweed stems and leaves (optional)
1 cup lemon juice (about 4 – 6 lemons)
Zest from lemons
1/2 cup honey
1/2 gallon water
1 pinch sea salt
Begin by placing the Cleavers and Chickweed (if using) in a blender. Add a bit of water and blend until you have a puree.
Using a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a Gerber diaper (I never liked them for real diapers but they are great for straining plant materials!), pour the puree through the strainer, gather the ends of the cloth and twist/squeeze until all the juice has been removed from the plant material.
Compost the spent plant material and measure your juice. You will need 1/3 cup of juice. The rest you can save for using in recipes from this month’s issue. Set aside the juice.
Place the zest and 1 cup of water in a sauce pan and heat until boiling. Remove from heat and add honey, stirring to dissolve completely. Let steep for 15 minutes.
Pour the honey zest mixture into a 1/2 gallon jar or pitcher. Add the lemon juice, 1/3 cup of Cleavers juice and sea salt.
Add water to fill and stir well. Taste and add more honey if you prefer it sweeter.
Serve on ice.
Got some left over Cleavers juice? Don’t dump it out, there’s a lot you can do with it! Check out this month’s issue of Herbal Roots for more ideas:
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