Throughout history, humans have been fascinated with love potions and love spells. To love and be loved is one of humanity’s greatest desires. No wonder, people from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome used fragrances in their art of seduction. The Greek Magical Papyri from Graeco-Roman Egypt (a period from 332 BC to 395 AD) includes numerous spells of attraction and instructions on how to make an erotic doll which was intended to represent a person’s object of desire.
Interestingly, a lowly herb whose barbed stems were used by ancient Greek shepherds as rough sieves to strain animal hairs out of milk, the cleavers have been used as an ingredient in love potions. Whilst there is no evidence that it can attract the attention of a romantic interest, one can attract good health with this healing plant. Its medicinal value will be discussed further below.
Characteristics of the Cleavers Plant
Cleavers or Galium aparine, which is an annual herbaceous plant that bears globular fruits, does not grow in height unless it attaches itself to a tree or a tall plant. It has stalkless leaves, creeping straggling stems that branch out, and white to greenish flowers that are tiny and star-shaped. This weed is native to Europe and western Asia, but it is now naturalized throughout most of the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Central America, North Africa, and some countries in South America. Cleavers is also known by many names which include clivers, bedstraw, goosegrass, catchweed, sticky bob, stickyweed, stickybud, stickyback, robin-run-the-hedge, sticky willy, sticky willow, stickyjack, stickeljack, grip grass, sticky grass, bobby buttons, and velcro. This plant belongs to the Rubiaceae family.
Modern Medicinal Value
The Galium aparine herb which is used in Chinese medicine may give relief to patients suffering from Arthritis, Psoriasis, and Eczema. Tea made from this can also aid with blood purification. Cleavers tea is a good source of vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, coumarins, and alkaloids. Other benefits include the following:
- It helps keep the lymphatic system healthy
The lymphatic system aids in the detoxifying process by getting rid of the toxins and other unwanted materials out of the body. It transports lymph, a fluid that contains infection-fighting white blood cells throughout the body.
Cleavers tea supports the movement of the lymph fluids and improves the ability of the lymphatic system to flush out toxins, enhance the function of the immune system, decrease congestion, and reduce swelling. Thus, it can certainly keep one away from certain diseases.
- It is good for the kidney and the urinary tract
Cleavers tea is a good diuretic. This drink can flush out waste and excess fluid from the kidneys, aid the said organs in releasing sodium into the urine, and prevent the buildup of other minerals that may lead to kidney stones. It may also treat urinary infections and improve bladder health. An article published by the “Indian Journal of Research in Pharmacy and Biotechnology” recommends this herb to for acute or chronic cystitis with swollen lymph nodes and uterine inflammation.
- It is good for the liver
The liver detoxifies the body. It clears out alcohol, drugs, and chemicals from the blood by processing these unwanted materials so that we can get rid of them through the urine. However, as it cleanses the blood, toxins which can injure liver cells may form. Cleavers does not only protect the liver, this herb also helps it to heal with its cleansing properties, promotes healthy liver function, stimulates the production of bile, and prevents bile ducts from being clogged.
- It can help promote weight loss
Cleavers tea can help maintain one’s weight. This herb has fiber which can improve your metabolism and properties that can reduce the absorption and digestion of fat in the body. Therefore, it can help promote weight loss.
The Galium aparine can also be a replacement for coffee since it belongs to the same family as the latter. Its seeds can be roasted and unlike regular coffee, it does not contain caffeine. Cleavers tea is very refreshing, delicious, and nutritious. A cup of it a day can do wonders for one’s health.