Crafty Cleavers


Our gardens contain many plants with may seem run-of-the-mill, even what we call weeds, but these plants may also contain nutritional, medicinal and culinary benefits to help keep you and your family healthy.

Herbal medicine is safe, effective and free if you have the tools to identify the plants growing in your backyard.


Our grandparents knew how to use an enormous variety of plants for health and wellbeing and it’s time to get back to basics when it comes to health.

The herb cleavers can be easily dismissed in your back garden as the scraggly bright-green weed with tiny hooked bristles that sticks to your clothing as you brush past it.

It loves to creep along the ground and race up fence-lines and can usually be found tangled up in patches of tall kikuyu grass where it reaches heights of over three feet.

Over the years it has had plenty of strange names such as biddy-bid, sticky willy, mutton chops and robin-run-in-the-grass and its use is in helping support the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system is the forgotten warrior in helping us to stay fit and healthy and is a network of tubes in the body.  Part of the immune system, it is the lifeline of the body stimulating natural defences to protect the body from germs, viruses and bacteria.

The lymphatic system connects to many organs in the body transporting a clear fluid called lymph. This fluid contains white blood cells called lymphocytes which destroy invading organisms.

Cleavers contain iridoid glycosides which are produced by plants to act primarily as a defense against infection by microorganisms. The plant is also in the same family as coffee and its’ fruits have been roasted and used as a coffee substitute while containing less caffeine.

Boost your family’s immune system with sticky cleavers by simply picking a handful of fresh stems and leaves and packing them into a glass jar, filling it up with water – make sure you put the lid on – and keeping it overnight in the fridge.

Strain the liquid and put the cleavers into your compost to make sure you get the most out of the minerals in the plant.

This makes a perfect tonic to drink in the morning. It tastes refreshing and the whole family can have some with their breakfast.