Clivers, Goosegrass, Yellow Bedstraw, Maid's Hair, Cheese Rennet, Hedge Bedstraw and Lady's Bedstraw.
There are several species:
Galium aparine, commonly known as Clivers or Goosegrass, grows in meadows, fields and hedges and reaches a height of 60 to 160 cm. Its leaves are placed in whorls and the flowers are greenish white. The stem is covered with little hooked bristles by which it fastens itself to nearby plants.
Galium verum, the True Bedstraw called also Yellow Bedstraw, Maid's Hair, Cheese Rennet, grows in some parts in higher altitudes and in other parts on dry banks, chiefly near the sea. lt has small bright yellow flowers on upright stems and grows to a height of 60 cm. This plant exudes a strong honey-like odour and is best gathered in July.
Galium mollugo, Hedge Bedstraw, has dainty yellow white flowers with a faint honey-like odour. lt is found on banks and near paths and is mostly prostrate at the time of flowering. I want to emphasize again that fresh herbs have a greater medicinal value. Even in winter the fresh shoots of Galium mollugo are found under the dry grass in snow free places.
All three species have similar medicinal qualities and are used the same way. Bedstraw tea rids the liver, kidney, pancreas and spleen of toxic wastes. When suffering from a disorder of the lymphatic system, one should drink this tea daily. lt is also beneficial for anaemia, dropsy and stitch in the side. Used externally this tea is of benefit in many skin disorders, wounds, boils and blackheads. lt makes an excellent wash for the face as it tightens the skin. The freshly pressed juice of Bedstraw, brushed on the affected parts of the skin and left to dry, is very beneficial.
In popular medicine Bedstraw is recommended for epilepsy, hysteria, St. Vitus dance, nervous complaints, suppressed urine, gravel and stones. For goitre, gargling with this tea throughout the day is effective. A woman told me she had not only lost the goitre, but her thyroid gland is now also working normally.
Every year I meet my friends, a couple from Vienna, at a "Kneipp" spa. When we got together in 1979, I found that the woman had a rather noticeable goitre. She was afraid of an operation. I recommended Bedstraw. This is infused and, still warm, is deeply gargled as often as possible daily. ln February 1980 we met again at the "Knei$p" spa and behold, the goitre was no longer there. Overjoyed she told me that her husband had repeatedly collected fresh Bedstraw for her. From the beginning she perceived that the goitre became gradually smaller until it disappeared completely.
In recent times, cases of constriction of the vocal cord have increased. It appears these cases are caused by a virus. Gargling and rinsing with Bedstraw tea brings swift relief. According to the Swiss Abbé Kuenzle, it is also a reliable remedy for serious kidney disorders, even if other remedies have failed - especially if Bedstraw is mixed in equal proportions with Golden Rod and Yellow Dead Nettle. ln this case the effect shows very quickly. He talks of 14 days. The tea is infused, and half a cup is taken on an empty stomach 30 minutes before breakfast, then the rest is sipped throughout the day' For serious disorders 4 cups a day are taken.
ln old times, Bedstraw was very much esteemed by women for disorders of the uterus. To ease child' birth, it was laid in the bed in their difficult hours. As the story goes, this was later attributed to the Virgin Mary. As "Our Lady's Bedstraw", She placed it in Her bed. From another legend, She placed it as a soft pillow in Jesus' crib. A Silesian legend tells that She took it, as it was not eaten by the donkey. There is truth in this. Although cows like to eat it, pigs and donkeys won't touch it.
The Abbé Kuenzle tells in his writings of a 45 year old man who suffered from a serious kidney disorder which worsened. Finally one kidney had to be removed the other one was also affected and did not function normally. The man then began a treatment with Bedstraw tea. Daily he drank 4 cups of the previously mentioned tea mixture of Bedstraw, Golden Rod and Yellow Dead Nettle' frequently he sipped his tea, whereupon his complaint completely cleared up. This same tea mixture is used for all kidney disorders.
While the noted botanist, Richard Willfort, in his book "Health through Medicinal Herbs" points out that rinsing with and drinking Bedstraw tea is an excellent remedy for cancer of the tongue, just as the freshly pressed juice mixed with butter is a remedy for cancerous growth and cancer-like skin disorders, Dr. Heinrich Neuthaler writes in "The Herb Book" the following about Bedstraw: "The white flowering Bedstraw is recommended for cancer in some districts even today - a nonsense that cannot be opposed strongly enough."
For your judgement on this matter, I would like to place before you, esteemed reader, a few experiences with Bedstraw. About 10 years ago I learned of a dentist who suffered from cancer of the tongue. After the operation he lost a lot of weight and was to have had X-ray therapy in Vienna. I recommended gargling with Bedstraw tea. A week later I learned that the therapy was no longer necessary and that he recovered more and more from the illness. ln a short time he was well. Somewhat later I heard from a 20year old woman who also suffered from cancer of the tongue. She was advised to consult a doctor in Carinthia (Austria). He promised her that she would get well within 5 years and gave her a herb tea which she showed me one day. I recognized it as Bedstraw. To save her the expense of going to Carinthia, I showed her the Bedstraw growing wild, so that she could gather it herself. She recovered from this terrible illness.
Still another example: lt was at the end of March when a young woman from Vienna told me that her mother, 63 years old, was very ill and was to have a second operation on April 19. Six months before, a cancer-like tumour suddenly grew in her larynx. The doctor had hidden the truth from her, telling her it was a goitre and thus she had her first operation. For six months everything went well. But then she experienced terrible pain in her left arm which continued day and night. Her hand was swollen, arm and hand were without feeling so that she could not even hold a piece of paper. To ease her pain, the doctor who performed the first operation advised a second operation on April 19, as previously mentioned, in which he intended to cut the nerves between the neck and the collar bone to at least free her from the worst of the pain. He said that medically there was no other help. Despite that, I recommended that the woman drink Bedstraw tea and gargle with it. Besides, I recommended a tea mixture of 300 gm. Calendula, 100 gm. Yarrow and 100 gm. Stinging Nettle (1 ½ litre per day, every 20 minutes 1 sip) and also rubbing with Bedstraw ointment. You can imagine my happy surprise when I learned that the pain had subsided after 4 days. Up to April 19, the woman had regained feeling in her arm and hand and was able to move both. The doctor was astounded when the daughter asked him not to perform the second operation. He was visibly impressed when she gave him an accurate account of the herb treatment. He said: “Your mother should continue with it." After a time, I was told the woman was doing very well and looking after her family of six.
By treating cancer-like growths healing is possible. ln recent times there has been an increase in malignant skin disorders that show as dark, sharply outlined rough marks. Presumably it is a question of infection. ln this case treatment with fresh juice of Bedstraw and Calendula ointment is successful. Without doubt, a blood cleansing tea of Calendula, Stinging Nettle and Yarrow should be used with it.
A woman from Upper Austria had a small lump on the floor of the palate and terrible pain in the whole area of the mouth. Through rinsing with Bedstraw tea, the lump disappeared after four days and with it the pain. The assertion that the use of Bedstraw for such illnesses is nonsense cannot be justified. Certainly it is not the herbs alone that bring help; it is God Almighty who assists in it. Finally everything lies in God's hands!
INFUSION: ¼ liter of boiling water is poured over 1 heaped teaspoon of Bedstraw, infused for a short time.
FRESH JUICE: Fresh bedstraw is washed and, still wet, put into the juice extractor.
OINTMENT: Sufficient fresh juice is stirred into butter (Room Temperature) to provide an ointment like consistency.
Store in refrigerator.