Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to cleavers (Galium aparine), its constituents, or members of the Rubiaceae family.
Side Effects and Warnings
There is insufficient evidence in humans to support the use of cleavers for any indication, as well as a lack of safety information. Cleavers has traditionally been used as a diuretic and caution is advised in patients taking diuretics or with urinary or renal (kidney) disorders.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Cleavers is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
Adults (18 years and older)
Although not well-studied in humans, a version of the red clover combination tea modeled after the Hoxsey formula that contains equal parts red clover, burdock, dandelion root, sarsaparilla, Oregon grape, cleavers, buckthorn, poke, echinacea, licorice, ginger, and wild yam (1 tablespoon of the herbal combination simmered in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes) has been used at a dosage of 1/2 cup every 1-2 hours for one week.
Secondary sources claim that medium-strength doses of cleavers formulated using 2-4g of the dried herb, 2-4mL of a 1:1 25% fluid extract, or 4-10mL of a 5:1 25% tincture, may be taken three times a day.
Traditional practitioners have recommended that a tea made from the cleavers plant may be used internally and externally for the treatment of cancer. Other secondary sources claim that the juice of the plant may be more useful than a tea. There is insufficient evidence in humans, however, to support the use of cleavers for any indication.
Children (younger than 18 years)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for cleavers in children.
Interactions with Drugs
Although not well studied in humans, cleavers may have diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antigout, antineoplastic, laxative, and hormonal properties. Caution is advised when taking cleavers with other agents that have these effects.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Although not well studied in humans, cleavers may have diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antigout, antineoplastic, laxative, and hormonal properties. Caution is advised when taking cleavers with other herbs or supplements that have these effects.