This is a picture of Clivers (Galium aperine) growing in the hedgerow near to where I live. In previous postings I have mentioned Clivers as a plant with great affinity for the lymphatic system. With respect to The Doctrine of Signatures, we can understand this through the lymphatic like structure of the plant. However, at this time of the year we see a further indication through the angry red seeds that form. These represent the inflamed lymph nodes that Clivers play such an important role in cleansing.
Clivers are truly powerful medicine and, although quite safe to use, should be used with great attention to dosage. This is particularly relevant with respect to the treatment of skin conditions. A rapid increase in dosage can lead to a radical expression of the skin condition, which might prove too much for the patient involved, especially if they are not well versed in natural healing patterns.
Many herbalists work by combining several herbs together. When working with Clivers, my personal preference is to include herbs such as Nettle (Urtica dioica) and Poke (Phytocca americana).
As I have mentioned in a previous blog on this site, Clivers and Nettles are often found growing among one and another. This is a natural indicator of their compatibility that is born out from practical experience. Nettles are excellent in clearing the blood of metabolic waste. In this sense, the two are well combined in resolving skin conditions.
Poke (Phytolacca americana) has a similar signature to Clivers expressed through its deep purple berries. Poke is strong medicine and should be used with great caution. However, used properly in small amounts, I combine it with Clivers to resolve angry glandular problems like tonsillitis.
Clivers is also useful in resolving cystitis. I believe this is a result of its diuretic action as well as its ability to help clear waste and toxins from the blood. These substances are filtered through the kidneys and, I believe, when concentrated irritate the lining of the bladder, causing the inflammation or "itis".
In orthodox terms, cystitis is often associated with a bacterial infection and antibiotics are used to resolve the problem. However, it is my belief that the bacteria are opportunists and proliferate where the soil is in their favour. Hence, cystitis can occur without a bacterial presence. It is the concentration of toxic matter, rather than the bacteria that brings about the initial inflammation. It is for this reason that, when detoxing smokers or others with high toxic concentrations in the body, the manifestation of cystitis is a common occurrence and should be treated as a positive development.
If you are on the trail, Cliver tips can be picked and eaten. To me they taste a bit like raw pea pods. They can make up part of a natural indigenous diet that broadens the diversity of phyto-nutrients we take in. This works to provide many bio-chemicals that help ward off illness, something our narrow modern selection of foods does not do.
The seed of Clivers can be picked, dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute. Personally, I find the little red burrs so small that it can take an eternity to gather enough for your morning brew. Personally, I prefer to roast the root of the Dandelion....which I might explore with you in my next post.
Health and Happiness
The Green Man