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erbal Medicine Materia Medica


© David L. Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH

Galium aparine


Names: Goosegrass, Clivers.

Collection: The plant should be gathered before flowering and dried in the shade.

Parts Used: Dried aerial parts and the fresh expressed juice.

Constituents: Glycoside asperuloside, gallotannic acid, citric acid.

Actions: Diuretic, alterative, anti-inflammatory, tonic, astringent.

Indications: It is a very valuable plant, being perhaps the best tonic to the lymphatic system available. As a lymphatic tonic with alterative and diuretic actions it may be used safely in a wide range of problems where the lymphatic system is involved. These include swollen glands (lymphadenitis) anywhere in the body, especially in tonsillitisand adenoid trouble. It is helpful in skin conditions, especially the dry kind such as psoriasis. It is helpful in the treatment of cystitis andother urinary conditions where there is pain and may be combined with urinary demulcents for this. There is a long tradition for the use of Cleavers in the treatment of ulcers and tumors. This may have its basis in the lymphatic drainage, which helps detoxify tissue. Cleavers also makes an excellent vegetable.

Priest & Priest tell us that it is a "soothing, relaxing & diffusive diuretic: increases aqueous excretion, corrects inability to pass normal catabolic wastes and relieves irritation. Preferred diuretic for exanthemas." The specific indications: dropsy, renalobstructions, bladder stone, gravel, calculi, scalding micturation, dysuria, irritable bladder, cystitis, enuresis in children, eczema, psoriasis.Ellingwood recommends it for the following patholgies: acuteinflammation of the urinary tract, dysuria, nephritis, strangury, cystic & prostatic irritation in old men.

Combinations: For the lymphatic system combine with Poke, Echinacea or Calendula. For skin conditions combine with Yellow Dock and Burdock. For diuretic purposes it is often used with Buchu and/or Bearberry.

Preparation and Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 2-3 teaspoonful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture: Take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.

About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary......more
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