Coffee or Madder family (Rubiaceae)
Cleavers is especially adept at alleviating hot, inflamed conditions with its strong cooling effect, and some of the different ways are shared below. The other thing it is renowned for is supporting the lymphatic system, and its tiny little hooks conjure a helpful image of it cleaning out the lymphatic vessels. It also makes sense that it emerges at the end of winter, a time when we need some ‘spring cleaning’ after eating heavier foods and perhaps being less physically active.
Because the lymphatic system is part of the immune system, lymph glands can become swollen when the body is fighting an infection. People may notice swollen lymph glands by the throat when fighting a respiratory infection; however, if a gland remains swollen or tender for a protracted period, one should always get it checked out by a medical professional to rule out anything more serious. Cleavers can help move the lymph along and encourage its drainage, which helps clean out any residue from its important infection-busting work.
Cleavers can help with either scant urination or burning urination because it helps move fluid out, and is cooling in nature.
Cleavers can help with hot skin conditions - where the skin feels or looks hot, red, inflamed, or moist/weepy. It can be applied as a juice or poultice.
Cleavers is considered safe, though some people get skin irritation from contact.