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Cleavers (Galium aparine)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Acumin, amor-de-hortelã (Portuguese - Brazil), amor de hortelano (Spanish), anthraquinon, aparine (Italian, Portuguese - Brazil), asperuloside, asperulosidic acid, attacca mano (Italian), attacca veste (Italian), aucubin, barweed, bed-straw, bedstraw, Burre-Snerre (Danish), bur-weed, caffeic acid, caglio asprello (Italian), campestrol, catchweed, chlorogenic acid, citric acid, coachweed, cleever, clivers, coumarin, eriffe, erva-pegavosa (Portuguese - Brazil), everlasting friendship, flavonoid, gaillet (French), gaillet gratteron (French), gallotannic acid, Galium aparine, Gewöhnliches Kletten-Labkraut (German), gia mara, glucosides, goosebill, goosegrass, grateron, Grepagras (Norwegian), grip grass, harmine, hashishat al af'a (Arabic), hayriffe, hayruff, hedge clivers, hedgeheriff, iridoid glucosides, iridoidasperulosidic acid, Kaz Yogurtotu (Turkish), Kierumatara (Finnish), Kleber (German), Klebkraut (German), Klebriges Labkraut (German), Kleefkruid (Dutch), Klenge (Norwegian), Klengemaure (Norwegian), Klengjemaure (Norwegian), Kletten-Labkraut (German), Kletternde Labktaut (German), Klifurmaðra (Icelandic), Klimmendes Labkraut (German), Krókamaðra (Icelandic), Krøkin steinbrá (Faroese), loveman, mutton chops, p-coumaric acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, pega-pega (Portuguese - Brazil), philanthropon (Greek), Przytulia czepna (Polish), Præstelus (Danish), protopine, Ragadós galaj (Hungarian), Robin-run-in-the-grass, Roomav madar (Estonian), rough bedstraw, Rubiaceae (family), rubichloric acid, saponins, scratweed, silicic acid, sitosterol, Snärjmåra (Swedish), Snärmåra (Swedish), stickyweed, sticky-willy, stickywilly, stigmasterol, Svízel přítula (Czech), tannins, Tene (Norwegian), Tirmanici yogurtotu (Turkish), Vitblommig snärjmåra (Swedish), zhu yang yang (Chinese).
  • Note: Other Galium species, such as Galium spurium L. (False cleavers), will not be discussed in this monograph.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Cleavers (Galium aparine) is a climbing plant native to North America, Europe, and Asia. According to a lab study, traditional culinary use of various Galium species has lead scientists to believe that an enzyme in its chemical composition may impart its ability to coagulate milk (3). According to secondary sources, this coagulant ability is conveyed by its name "Tirmanici yogurtotu" in the Anatolia region of Turkey (1). Traditionally, cleavers has been used as a diuretic, as a treatment for epilepsy, and for cleansing the kidneys, blood, and lymph system (2).
  • Currently, there is insufficient evidence in humans to support the use of cleavers for any indication.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.