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Cleavers: Lymphatic Spring Cleanse

Cleavers (Gallium aparine) is the perfect herb for a spring cleanse to clear toxin build-up in the lymphatic system and blood. The lymphatic system is responsible for clearing toxins and metabolic waste from organs, tissues and cells. Unlike the heart in the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump to move waste along so it can become stagnant and congested. Signs of a congested lymphatic system include lethargy, tiredness, headaches, poor circulation and blood quality, skin issues and lack of vitality. Cleavers works like a solvent, helping to ease congestion and move lymph fluids through the lymphatic system so it flows better.

Cleavers Health Benefits

  • Enhances immune function due to it’s lymphatic cleansing action and ability to improve the flow of lymph fluid and flush out toxins.
  • Exerts a diuretic action which can reduce inflammation (particularly bladder inflammation), swelling and congestion. It’s also great for fluid retention and fluid build-up which causes tissues to become enlarged. 
  • Supports wound healing and skin health when applied topically to the skin. Due to its cooling and anti-inflammatory action, cleavers is very helpful for those with acne, psoriasis, burns and ulcers.
  • Anti-cancer properties to aid the body’s natural defense system. Cleavers has shown to promote the growth of a particular white blood cell that can detect and fight against pre-cancerous cells.

How to use Cleavers

Cleavers can be used in its fresh or dried form, using hot or cold water. Traditionally, herbalists suggest steeping a handful of chopped fresh cleavers overnight and then drinking it throughout the next day. You could also blend cleavers with water and berries to make a refreshing drink.

Spring Cleanser Recipe


  • 1 tsp of dried cleavers
  • 1 tsp of dried nettle (to boost energy)
  • 1 tsp of dried lemon balm (to lift mood)
  • 1 cm of fresh grated ginger (to support digestion)
  • 1 litre of water of boiled water in a teapot

(Serves 1-2)


  1. Add the herbs to the boiling water in the teapot
  2. Allow them to steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Sieve and drink. Sweeten with honey if required.
  4. Can be served hot or cold.

Notes/ Additional Information

Dried herbs can be purchased from a reputable herb supplier online. Buy organic where possible.


Langley, S. (2015). The Naturopathic Workbook.
Tobyn, G, Denham, A. & Whitelegg, M. (2016). The Western Herbal Tradition.


Costas Papantoniou – Herbalist, ANP AMH

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Blog/Article content reflects the author's research and diverse opinions, not necessarily CNM's views. Items may not be regularly updated, so represent the best available understanding at the time of publication.

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