Bedstraw (Cleavers)

Description: Cleavers is an annual plant found in moist or grassy places and along riverbanks and fences in Canada, the eastern half of the U.S., and the Pacific coast. A slender taproot produces the weak, square, procumbent or climbing, prickly stem that grows from 2 to 6 feet long. The rough, oblong-lanceolate to almost linear leaves occur in whorls of 6 or 8 around the stem. The small, white or greenish- white flowers grow in cymes on long, axillary penduncles. The fruit consists of two joined, bristly, globular, one-seeded carpels. 

Properties and Uses: Antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, vulnerary. The predominant uses for cleavers are external, although the tea has been recommended for stomach and intestinal catarrh and for irritations of mucous membranes, including those of the urinary tract. The juice of the fresh plant or a tea made from the dried plant is popular for skin problems. The juice or tea is applied daily and allowed to dry (before each application, wash the affected area with rectified alcohol, burning the cloth each time). If preferred, make a salve for the skin by mixing the fresh juice with butter (renew every 3 hours and burn the cloth used to apply it). Applying the crushed fresh leaves directly is also said to be helpful for skin problems and for stopping bleeding. Cleavers is popularly used in Europe for healing wounds and sores.

Uses: Bedstraw has many uses which include cystitis, incontinence, psoriasis, eczema, glandular fever, hepatitis, chronic fatigue, and weight loss.  Bladder Health Maintenance, bronchitis, cellular regeneration, bodily cleansing and detoxification, fever, urinary tract gravel and water retention are other conditions that are indicated. It is an anti-inflammatory agent and helps to strengthen the immune system.

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