#36alive 74: Cleavers Infusion + Detox Tea

Salad leaves like rocket, lettuce, chard and spinach are abundant in Spring, and cleansing, antioxidant-rich vegetables like beetroot, radishes and red cabbage are at their best. This season is a little like nature’s natural detox time, and there’s no better way to cure the hangover of Winter than with nature’s very own remedies.

Cleavers is a plant you’ll find nestling amongst nettles and wild garlic during Spring, and it is a herb suited especially to any ailments you’re likely to experience at this time of year.


  • Cleavers is particularly useful for boosting the lymphatic system, which is actually larger than the circulatory system of blood. The lymphatic system doesn’t actually have a pump like the heart, so it relies upon movement and encouragement from what we choose to ingest. Cleavers gets the lymphatic system moving, encouraging detoxification of the body’s tissues and blood. If you’ve had a particularly heavy few months of animal products and alcohol, this is the herb to turn to.
  • It’s a natural diuretic, aiding in removal of waste and build up of toxins via urine, and perfect for any urinary tract infections or water retention.
  • Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis can also benefit from the healing properties of cleavers, and using it as a face wash helps to decrease wrinkles by tightening the surface of the skin.


IMG_0951Cleavers Infusion

  • Take a handful of freshly picked cleavers and wash them thoroughly to clean.
  • Add the plant as it is to a bottle, cover with filtered water and cover.
  • Leave over night and you’ve got yourself a natural detox tonic for the morning after. You can also strain and mix this with unpasteurised apple cider vinegar, warm water and lemon for an alkalising and healing morning drink.

Cleavers & Lemon Detox Tea

  • Wash the cleavers plant well to clean
  • Chop the plant into small pieces
  • Add 2 tbsp of the fresh herb to a tea pot and cover with boiled water
  • Leave to steep for 10 minutes
  • Serve with a slice of fresh lemon and optional honey to sweeten

It’s important to only ever forage with someone who is experienced, in clean areas. If you are unsure of whether a plant is safe to pick, leave it alone!

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