Herbalists Without Borders – Cleavers Lotion

Herbalists Without Borders

Herbalists without Borders UK is currently an umbrella resource for autonomous groups in the UK and Ireland who are connected by the desire to promote and deliver herbal medicine to individuals and in communities where there is little recourse.

A Herbalists Without Borders group was set up in Bristol in 2015 around an initiative to set up a migrant solidarity clinic. The acute refugee humanitarian crisis occurring from the summer of 2015 onwards focussed the attention of many on the plight of migrant communities moving to and across Europe.

In 2019 Phytology will collaborate with Herbalists Without Borders & St Margarets House to deliver the Mobile Apothecary.

The Cleavers recipe listed below will be dispensed in our Mobile Apothecary from April 2019.

Cleavers Infused Oil & Lotion

Cleavers, otherwise known as Sticky Willy because of the sticky hairs that make it cling to you, is a great traditional spring tonic. Often used as a juice or infusion to help cleanse the body after the winter. Topically, it is a cooling, soothing anti-inflammatory for dry, cracked, hot, irritated skin, or for bites.



  • Fresh Cleavers
  • A carrier oil e.g. almond, olive, sunflower
  • Beeswax
  • Aloe Vera gel

Cleavers Infused Oil

  • Chop a handful of fresh cleavers, put in a bowl and cover with approximately 300ml of sunflower or olive oil
  • Place the bowl over a pan of hot water, cover and leave to infuse on a low heat for a couple of hours, making sure the water doesn’t boil dry
  • Strain and repeat the process with more chopped fresh cleavers, using the already green oil and re-infuse for a couple more hours
  • Strain and leave in a bowl or jug overnight to allow for watery fluids to sink to the bottom, then pour off the infused oil into a sterilised bottle and label

Make into a cooling Cleavers lotion for hot, irritated skin

  • Put the infused cleavers oil back into a clean bowl, adding 1g of beeswax for every 10ml of oil
  • Reheat gently over the pan of water till all the wax melts so the mixture is completely liquid
  • Take off the heat and leave to cool – when it’s almost cool, but not solid, add Aloe Vera gel, the same amount in weight as your oil, and Lavender essential oil (1 drop for every 10ml of oil) and mix well
  • Pour into sterilised jars and label 

For more information on the Mobile Apothecary please email info@nomadprojects.org