Cleavers Juice (Galium aparine, NL:Kleefkruid)

I while ago I posted about the benefits of Cleavers and how to use the herb, including how to extract the juice using a cloth.  Here’s a slightly high tech (and faster) method which I used this afternoon…

Firstly, please remember the foraging/picking rules and only harvest and use if you are 100% confident you have correctly identified the plant. Beware of similar plants such as Woodruff (Galium odoratum), it is another herb with different uses and some unpleasant side effects, if taken in quantity.

  • Wash and drain a good handful of freshly picked cleavers
  • Remove any unhealthy looking stems, rooty/yellowy ends, grass, other material etc.
  • If the cleavers seem very wet from washing perhaps blot dry with a clean tea towel.
  • Roughly chop the stems.
  • Add a little clean water to the blender, perhaps enough to half cover the blades.  This is just to prevent clogging. Then add the cleavers.
  • Blend use the chopping setting, or pulse on full power, until it seems to be nicely pulverised.
  • Strain through a jelly bag, muslin or clean tea towel, into your collection jar.  I also used a funnel to make collection easier but this is optional.
  • The juice should run out quickly.
  • Finally wring out any remaining juice through the jelly bag/muslin/tea towel.
  • Compost or return to the earth, the remaining pulp. This afternoon I used it to help mulch a balcony herb pot.
  • Store the juice refrigerated in an air tight, sterile container. Remember to label the jar and lid clearly.  It should keep in a fridge for a few days but if you notice anything unusual, such as discoloration, changed smell or taste then pour it onto soil and start again.
  • Please read the post about benefits and directions for using cleavers.
  • Generally the dose for cleavers juice is 1tsp up to three times daily as a tonic.
  • Start with a very small amount when you try something new and if you notice any negative reaction then stop using and water your plants with it. That said, this is generally thought of as a safe, nourishing and cleansing tonic which has been used in many countries, as a folk remedy for many many years.
  • A handful of cleavers yielded about 200ml of juice today.  I plant to freeze some in an ice cube tray this evening as 200ml is more than enough for me to use as a tonic over the coming days.
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