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Scientific name: Galium aparine

Common name: Cleavers

Constituents:

  • Polyphenolic acids (caffeic, gallic, chlorogenic, cinnamic, p-coumaric, salicylic & citric)
  • Iridoid glycosides (asperuloside)
  • Tannins (gallotannic acid)
  • Coumarins
  • Flavonoids (Quercetin & luteolin)
  • Volatile oils (palmitic acid, hexadecanoic)
  • Vitamin C, B5 & B6
  • Anthraquinones
  • Alkaloids

Medicinal actions:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Alterative
  • Astringent
  • Diuretic
  • Lymphatic tonic
  • Vulnerary

Traditional Use:

  • Traditionally used in folk medicine for anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and cardioprotective effects.
  • A classic alterative used internally or topically for inflammatory skin disorders, minor injuries and conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and is a soothing and relaxing diuretic & demulcent to the urinary tract, giving it indication in cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, pyelonephritis, and edema of kidney origin.
  • Specifically used to increase lymphatic drainage & breaks up lymphatic congestion (enlarged lymph nodes) especially in the pelvis and urinary tract, and is considered a lymphatic tonic thought to clear away damp-heat, eliminate stasis and detoxify the body. Can be used in cases of lymph swellings, fever turbid urine, hematuria, traumatic injury, acute appendicitis, otitis media, etc.
  • In Traditional Chinese medicine is prescribed for treatment of cancer to suppress tumor cells and in leukemia.

Evidence Based Use:

  • No clinical trials in humans have been conducted.
  • Demonstrate anti-proliferative effects on leukemia cells, breast cancer, laryngeal carcinoma and head and neck cancer cell lines in vitro.
  • Aqueous extracts demonstrated good antioxidant activity in oxidative stress in vitro.

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Very little known.
  • Iridoid glycosides including asperuloside are considered mildly laxative & purgative.

Pharmacy:

  • Infusion: 1-2 tsp/cup, steep 10 min, 1-2 cups TID.
  • Tincture: (1:5, 25%), 4-10 ml TID. 200 ml weekly max.
  • Fresh juice: 3-15 ml, TID.
  • Poultice, skin wash as needed.

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • None known.

Interactions:

  • None reported

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