Goose grass, cleavers, or sticky willy, however, you know this plant, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere you’re likely to have played with it as a child and stuck it on an unsuspecting friend’s (teacher’s?) 😊back.
Beloved by herbalists and children, this wonderful member of the coffee family (yes, it is our native coffee) sticks to everything thanks to velcro-like hooks all over the plant.
But don’t be fooled by its mischievous air – this is important medicine! Galium aperine is its Latin name – (so much more sophisticated) and it is a supreme lymphatic tonic. Moving lymph, clearing stagnation, supporting the immune system. It is the best remedy for swollen glands, tonsillitis, and fluid retention that I know.
Not only do the tiny seeds taste like coffee if roasted, the plant can be juiced (old-fashioned mincers required here, this plant will mash your nutribullet 😊 and the green elixir reminds me of a wheatgrass shot – your cells will jump to attention and salute the greeness of it. It’s a bit much for some – so if you are of a gentler persuasion then simply steep the fresh plant in cold water overnight and enjoy it in your water bottle the next day.
It is quite easy to pick when you know how – simply gather up a bunch and roll it into circles as I’ve done in the pictures. I sit one coil on top of the other in my tincture buckets which works a treat.