The leaves of the cleavers plant (
) have small hooked hairs that cause it to “cleave” to the fingers when touched, hence the name. The whole leaf has been used as a flavoring in soups and stews. Roasted seeds are used as a coffee substitute. The leaves and flowers are used medicinally. Cleavers is primarily used for urinary problems and fluid retention, on the basis of its apparent diuretic (urine-stimulating) effects. It has also been recommended for enlarged lymph nodes, tonsillitis, hepatitis, and snake bites.
What is Cleavers Used for Today?
Cleavers is often included in herbal mixtures offered for the treatment of kidney and bladder problems, including
A typical recommended dose of cleavers is one cup of tea three times daily, made by steeping 10–15 grams of the herb in a cup of hot water.
Cleavers has not undergone any meaningful safety testing. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
In case cleavers does in fact have diuretic effects as claimed, people taking the medication
should use cleavers only under the supervision of a physician, as dehydration can be dangerous with this medication.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a