Clever Cleavers figured out how to hitch a ride home. Have you noticed Nature’s Velcro clinging to you on a hike in the woods or perhaps your dog’s fur? This medicinal weed is easy to identify with its 4 sided stem and slender leaves that grow in clingy whorled clusters. It grows in shaded areas and near streams. The unique characteristic of Cleavers is that the whole plant clings to you as you walk by due to its small hooks on the leaves. Later in the season its small round seeds cling to animal fur and socks like velcro.
Also know as Northern Bedstraw, Cleavers is mostly used medicinally, compared to the non sticky edible variety of Bedstraw that has a sweet smell and taste. I blend Cleavers with Nettle leaves and seeds, Marshmallow root or Mallow leaves, Plantain leaves, and Uva ursi leaves for urinary tract health. Some clients have benefited from drinking a cup or 2 of the tea as part of a natural protocol clear kidney stones. A tea made with Calendula flowers, Cleavers, and Mullein leaves supports healthy lymphatic function and can reduce edema. You can also make a fresh Cleaver tincture and blend with any of the above herbs for a convenient tea concentrate. Remember tinctures also known as liquid herbal extracts usually provide a stronger herbal medicine than tea alone, since tinctures extract both the water and alcohol soluble properties of the herbs rather than just the water soluble properties in a tea. For a hands on experience making herbal tinctures, check out my Summer Class Schedule.
Cleaver Fairy Gifts
This year as I was preparing the Cleavers that I had gathered for tincture and drying, I noticed them forming into interesting shapes. I let inspiration take over and found nests forming. The stickiness of the cleavers helps them stay in shapes without any glue, making them a nice gift to leave outside that can compost naturally into the land. The idea of Fairy gifts came to mind and I was led to schedule a Fairy Garden class. In the class I shared about easy to grow flowers that attract the Fairy’s friends, the Bees, Butterflys and Dragonflys. We took a lovely evening walk in my gardens offering fennel seeds, coins, and crystals to the flower fairies.
After Fairy stories, it was time to be creative. We tuned into our hearts and let the Fairies guide which Cleaver nest to decorate. I had a selection of feathers, dried plant material, shiny pennies, crystals, ribbon, and other inspired goodies to embellish our Fairy Nests.
This is a Fairy Gift that I made to honor the Nature Spirits of the plants and land where I live. It hangs in the inside entryway of my home.
I had to share this picture of a Fairy House that was a gift for me from a client. Her daughter-in-law made this for her using the base of a sturdy old Samsonite suitcase, natural, handmade, and other fairy-inspired goodies (I added the Unicorn). I love the way the Fairies inspire creativity and playful imagination to flow. They naturally bring a smile to my face.
Thank you to my Celtic Fairy friends for a magical and joy-filled evening. If you’d like to schedule a Mother-Daughter Fairy class email me at DrLinda@SpiritHerbs.com.
May you be inspired by the open-hearted sensations that the fragrance and color of the flowers evoke for you on your journey.