Today we’re going to spend a bit of time talking about cleavers for dogs. Also known as Galium aparine, bedstraw, goosegrass, and catchweed, this is an annual plant from the Rubiaceae family. Cleavers are known for their sprawling stems, which make their way along the ground and over other plants. They have flowers that emerge in the spring to summer and can be found all over the world.
Cleavers are edible and have been used as leaf vegetables if the fruits haven’t appeared. It isn’t the best food to eat raw, however, as the stems carry small hooks that cover the plant. Cleavers are a favorite food for geese, hence the nickname goosegrass, and the fruits are found in the same family as coffee.
Dogs have been known to chew on cleavers when out for walks, as these plants can be found anywhere from in hedges to low vegetation. They tend to overrun adjacent plants, so it’s not unusual to find one’s four-legged friend having a nosh on a little bedstraw.
What are the benefits of Cleavers Herb?
Therapeutic Uses Cleavers for dogs
The good news is that there are many uses for cleavers for dogs. In humans, poultices using cleavers were used to treat a wide variety of skin conditions, burns and even wounds. For pets, cleavers are good for the skin as well but hold special treatment capabilities with respect to the lymphatic system and the urinary tract.
- Benefit of Cleavers Tea: Cleavers can be used to make a wonderful tonic for the lymphatic system. This can be done using a tea, which can be made using about two teaspoons of the dried herb in one cup of hot water. Tea should be steeped for 15 minutes and administered cool, about a gulp at a time to ensure proper dosage. The taste of the tea does have a bitter edge to it, but dogs are prone to munching away at cleavers in the wild and should be okay with the flavor.
- Use of Cleaver Tincture: Because cleavers assist in increasing lymphatic flow throughout the body’s tissues, dogs can also benefit from using the herb to treat swelling. Cleavers can help promote healing of wounds and alleviate inflammation when applied directly to the affected area. A tincture can be made by using one teaspoon of cleavers in water. It can be applied up to three times daily. A fluid extract can also be made using the same recipe.
- Use of Cleaver Pulp: Cleavers can be used an astringent, with the tincture producing some top-notch results for your dog’s skin. Cleavers have been used for centuries in treating a wide variety of skin conditions, with poultices, tinctures and washes including the herb for maximum effect. The pulp of cleavers has even been used to relieve things like poisonous bites and insect stings, thus supporting a healthy response to inflammation.
- Detoxify blood by use of Cleavers: Cleavers has been used to reduce fluid retention and assist in the flushing of metabolic waste from the lymphatic system, plus it also aids in detoxifying the blood. These effects can all be generated from munching the raw plant, so don’t be afraid if your dog goes for a run in the weeds and comes up with a mouthful of cleavers.
Cleavers are among the safest herbs out there and there are no known side effects to its usage, but allergies are always possible. Some dogs may manifest allergic reactions to cleavers on the skin, so you may want to test a small area before you commit to applying a tincture or poultice on a larger spot. For the most part, however, there aren’t any disadvantages to using cleavers for dogs.
If there are any safeguards to keep in mind, ensure that the tea is prepared properly. Always make sure that the tea has cooled to an appropriate temperature before administering to your four-legged friend. And always make sure to properly clean any wounds before applying herbal treatments.
Reasons to use Cleavers in Dogs
As you can see, cleavers are among the safest and most adaptable herbs out there. They can be found almost anywhere, and you’ve probably already noticed your dog crunching on them in the neighborhood. This is no grandiose supplement that can only be found in high-priced health stores. This is an herbal remedy with handy appeal and no side effects.
From aiding in cleansing the lymphatic system to helping with the healing of wounds and burns, cleavers have a number of uses. That’s what makes cleavers for dogs so thrilling. This is an herbal treatment that is as natural as natural gets, so don’t be afraid to check out what these little beauties can do for your best friend.
References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen