Photo copyright D & S Books
The cool wet spring has given us a bumper crop of goosegrass this year. You might know it as cleavers, or sticky willie, from its habit of sticking to clothes or animal fur.
Later on, there will be little green burrs that you have to pick out of your socks after a walk. Its Latin name is Galium aparine, and if you think it’s just a bit of a nuisance, think again.
It’s one of those vigorous weeds that I was talking about last week, that spring up everywhere at this time of year. The name ‘goosegrass’ is thought to come from the fact that geese love to graze on it, and it’s a good source of vitamin C at a time when fresh fruit and vegetables are yet to appear
Herbalists value it for its cleansing properties; it is gently stimulating to the liver and kidneys, getting things moving after the sluggishness of winter, and helps to encourage your lymphatic system into action. If you have suffered from winter infections this year, goosegrass will help to bring you back to full health and put a spring in your step.
The best way to use it is either to juice it together with apple or carrots or something that will add bulk, or you can make a cold infusion. To do this, collect a good quantity, chop it up and cover it with cold water overnight.