I- NomenclatureGaillet gatteron

Latin name: Galium aparine

Family : Rubiaceae

Common namesCleavers, Bedstraw, goosegrass, catchweed, stickyweed


'Gallium': from the Greek "galion" itself derived from "gala": "milk"

Aparine from Greek 'apairo' [απαίρω < από «from» + αίρω «pull to lift»1


II- Legends and traditions

Bedstraws (or milk curds) were used as vegetable rennet for their property of curdling milk without imparting a bad smell.


III- Botanical description

Description: Annual plant, very hooking with a quadrangular stem, brittle and hairy, 30 cm to 1 m long, swelling at the nodes of small twisted spines which allow it to grip around. Flowering from May to October.

The leaves are pointed, elliptical and narrow, in whorls 6 to 9, that is to say arranged at the same level of the stem. They are lined with hairs.

The white or yellow flowers are small, in clusters, arranged in the axils of the upper leaves.

Fruits by 2, 4 to 7 mm are spherical, green to purple in color, bristling with hooked hairs.

HabitatVery common plant, found in crops, hedges, brush, up to 1000 m.

Likes moist clay soils.

Pars used : Aerial parts. Pick from spring to fall.



IV- Active ingredients

Aerial parts

• Coumarins, tannins

• glucosides

• citric acid


V- Therapeutic uses


Aerial parts



Mild astringent





Lymphatic cleanser



Best to use fresh, the aerial parts are a strong diuretic and cleanse the lymphatic system, effective in many cases where the lymphatic gland is enlarged or swollen.

Often described as a blood purifier, the plant is used for skin problems and other conditions where the body has trouble ridding itself of toxins.



Juice: Blend the fresh plant to create an effective diuretic and lymphatic cleanser for many conditions including infectious mononucleosis, tonsillitis and prostate problems.

Infusion: generally weaker than the juice. Use for urinary problems such as cystitis and urinary stone. Also taken to lower fevers. A teaspoon for a cup of boiling water. Infuse 10 minutes, drink 2 to 3 cups a day.

Tincture: use as for infusions. Can be combined with other lymphatic detoxifying plants such as American grape (Phytolacca americana) or lian qiao (Fructus Forsythiae Suspensae). Drink 15 to 25 drops in a little water, 4 or 5 times a day.

Compress: soak a gauze or cloth in an infusion and apply to burns, abrasions, ulcers and other skin inflammations.

Cream: use regularly to relieve psoriasis.

Lotion: Use the lotion for dandruff or other scalp problems of a scaly nature.


VI- Precaution of use


In case of hepatitis


1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galium_aparine



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