Cleavers, sticky weed, goose grass, Galium aparine grows abundantly in towns, parks, roadsides has many names and is easily identifiable as the weed which made long childhood walks bearable by seeing how long the weed could stick to a family members back without them noticing, or rolling into a ball and pelting it at each other. Apart from these recreational uses, it’s also drinkable. From the same family as coffee, G. Aparine can be used to produce drinks and ointments.
To create a substitute coffee, you can gather the small seeds from inside the small burrs and roast them. However, due to the quantity needed for this coffee, it takes a significant amount of time in order to get a decent batch of coffee.
However, you can dry the leaves (so you can store the plant for longer amounts of time) and you can pour boiling water over the leaves, creating a herbal tea. I usually add teaspoonful of honey which makes it an enjoyable drink.
Consumption of cleavers has been linked to weight loss. It has been associated with cleansing and detoxing of the body for may years, even being used as a slimming regime in the sixteenth century!
It is also edible, it can be used in a similar way that you would cook spinach, for example by steaming it.
I’ve started adding cleavers to my Green Smoothies to pack a lot nutritional value into my smoothie but without breaking my bank.
You can create a toner by soaking the plants in cold water overnight. This has many uses, from clearing the complexion, helping eczema, removing dandruff and soothing burns. I apply some with an organic cotton pad to my face in the evenings.