National Herb Week: Cleavers – a Weed with Benefits


Becky Garden 2

In celebration of National Herb Week I’ve decided to talk about a very popular herb in our household. What I love about Cleavers is they grow as wild weeds throughout the neighborhood and I catch Walter chewing on it while we’re out for walks.

I lived with a dog, Sandola, and she was the first dog I’ve lived with that naturally ate Cleavers on walks. I was curious so I brought the herb to our Holistic Vet that provide the dogs with their herbs and tinctures to find out more – about this sticky, weed. I also knew that Cleavers found its way into many of the tinctures Becky made for Bruiser, our dog with Irritable Bowel Disease and we had briefly discussed the benefits but I needed a refresher. And it prefers moist climates which is why we see it a lot here in the Pacific Northwest. They’re part of the Galium genus.

What are the benefits of this weed?

  • According to the book, Herbs for Pets, written by Gregory Tilford and by go to resource outside of our holistic vet: the primary medicinal activities include helps with blood cleansing, diuretic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, heals wounds
  • Strongest affinities: Lymph system, urinary tract and skin
  • Preparation: Juice, tincture, or tea of the fresh plant
  • Cleavers is used in any condition that is characterized by general or localized swelling. It is also thought to increase lymphatic flow throughout the body tissues.
  • It’s a safe herb with no contraindications.

Do you use any herbs with your dogs? Do you dogs ever munch on herbs that grow near where you walk?



There are 55 Comments

  1. Nichole says:

    National weed week? I had no idea!

  2. Mr. N does not believe in eating vegetables. He includes herbs in that category.

  3. great to know! we have a fussy tummy here…

  4. Interesting! I think I’ve seen that growing in my parent’s yard but I never knew what it was before. My dogs don’t eat herbs growing outside but one of them is obsessed with eating grass.

  5. Rachel says:

    I’d never heard of Cleavers before, but I definitely recognize them. Thank you for sharing their benefits with us.

  6. I’ve never heard of this week, I wonder if it goes by a different name in Australia?

  7. Ruth Epstein says:

    Interesting and am going to read more, I disguise veggies by putting them in the blender and mixing with the food and broth 🙂

  8. I think that I’ve seen this growing wild too. Very interesting. ☺

  9. Jana Rade says:

    Look at that, didn’t know about this one!

  10. What a great holiday! Weed Week! I didn’t even know this existed!

  11. How interesting! I have never heard of Cleavers before, but you have me curious! My dogs do love to munch on grass and even veggies in the garden so…

  12. That is so fascinating! I always love learning more about holistic approaches for our dogs!

  13. How interesting! Who knew weeds had a benefit! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Bryn Nowell says:

    Great post! A little green goes a long way 🙂

  15. I think there’s a saying that goes “One man’s weed is another man’s wildflower” or something like that. I’ve never heard of Cleavers but it looks really familiar. We have two new herbal vets in town and I’m working on getting Piper some herbal treatments for her allergies so I will definitely be asking about Cleavers.

  16. I never realized a weed could be beneficial for dogs.

  17. Kia says:

    Interesting and good to know!

  18. Weed week!!? I had no idea!

  19. Sadie says:

    Huh! How about that! I love herbs and will definitely see if there’s a chance it will survive here in Ontario.

  20. Beth says:

    I have seen these before, but never knew the name. I’m pretty sure my dogs have nibbled on them. Now that I know about them, I’ll let my dogs enjoy them!

  21. I had never heard of Cleavers. Sounds great. I’ll keep an eye out – I get swelling so I wonder if works on humans too LOL. Kilo does not tend to eat plants on our walks.

  22. Interesting, I haven’t heard of Cleavers but I’m always looking for new herbs to grow in my garden. Have you tried it yourself? What does it taste like?

    • Cleavers will grow quickly – it’s literally a weed up here in Oregon. I have not tried it myself but our vet said I could make tea anytime!

  23. FiveSibesMom says:

    Great info! I had never heard of Cleavers before. Pinning this post!

  24. Carol Bryant says:

    I never heard of this herb before. I would love to do a small indoor garden of sorts with herbs.

  25. Robin says:

    That is a really cool discovery! Nature holds so many great healers. It is great that Clevers grow so easily. I like herbs to be as fresh as they can be, but I have a brown thumb!

  26. I’ve never heard of Cleavers! If #Finndawg can’t get to the pet grass, he helps himself to our strawberry leaves… I must check they are OK for him. Will also see if Cleavers occur in Australia… I suspect our climate is too dry.

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