A Tiny, Leafy Green Plant is One of the Best Remedies for Lymph Health, Kidney Health and More

cleavers health benefits


One of the most exciting parts of learning about natural remedies for me has been the discovery of new, unexpected plants and herbs in the wild.

In recent years, I began foraging wild plants for the first time, and one of my favorites is one that is often overlooked because of its diminutive size and relative lack of distinguishing features.

This plant is sometimes used in tinctures, balms, and teas, and is well known among herbalists for its ability to support a healthy lymph system and kidneys.

The herb in question is the cleaver, a relatively tiny and leafy green plant that packs a healing punch for its unique medicinal properties.


Foraging for Cleavers 

Cleavers are best found in the springtime, when the snow and ice begin to thaw and the bright green hues of the landscape start to show for the first time.

A few years back, I began foraging for morel mushrooms here in Michigan, and found plenty of these tiny green, leafy herbs instead.

Some pictures of the cleaver are shown below.

They can be hard to find to the untrained eye. Cleavers are identified by clusters of four to eight whorls (leaf arrangements) at the end of each stem.

cleaver herb

The plants are also covered in hooked hairs, which allow them to climb up other plants and solid structures along the forest floor, including rocks, trees, and similar items.

Stems can reach up to three feet high.

The cleavers I found four or five years ago for the first time looked like tiny clovers on the ground.



After foraging about a half-pound of cleavers that day, I later made them into a tea.

Cleavers can be turned into the following concoctions once harvested:

-A cold infusion (see recipe here)

-Preserved cleaver juice (recipe here)

-Cleaver soup (see recipe here)

-Cleaver essential oil (more info here)

-A Coffee substitute (see here)


They are also known by the following names: 


-Annual bedstraw



-Grip grass

-Sticky Bobs



Cleavers are also great for the following purposes: 

-Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

-Liver Health

-Kidney Health

-Used by Native American tribes as a remedy for gonorrhea

Cleavers have diuretic (increased production of urine) properties, and are traditionally used in Chinese medicine to reduce or eliminate stagnation within the human body.

Purchase my favorite organic balm with cleavers for topical application here

Watch a video recipe for a healing, detoxifying and cleansing cleavers soup in the player below:


An organic healing salve containing cleavers. Click here or on the picture above to purchase or learn more (use code ‘althealthworks’ for a discount at checkout).


Other Herbs for Lymph System Health 

Aside from cleavers, there are several other herbs that can be foraged or purchased online or at the health food store to cleanse the body and improve lymph health.

They include: 

-Cat’s Claw Herb (learn more here)

-Stinging Nettle leaf (best taken in a tea like this one)

-Butcher’s Broom (for cardiovascular and circulatory health; also helps with lymphedema)

-Echinacea (reduces inflammation, helps to alleviate anxiety; learn more here)

-Dandelion root (liver cleansing and mineral-rich; excellent in salads)





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About Nick Meyer

Nick Meyer is a journalist who's been published in the Detroit Free Press, Dallas Morning News and several other outlets. He founded AltHealthWORKS in 2012 to showcase extraordinary stories of healing and the power of organic living, stories the mainstream media always seemed to miss. Check out Nick's Amazon best-seller 'Dirt Cheap Organic: 101 Tips For Going Organic on a Budget' by clicking here, as well as its sequel Dirt Cheap Weight Loss.