Scientific name: Galium aparine

Common names: Bedstraw, Goosegrass, Clives, Coachweed, Gravel Grass, Clabber Grass, Milk Sweet, Poor Robin, Scratchweed, Cleavers, Clivers, Goosegrass, Stickywilly, Stickyweed, Stickyleaf, Catchweed, Robin-run-the-hedge 

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: Chu-yang-yang

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    السواطير (assawateer)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Rubiaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Whole herb


Annual/Perennial: Annual

Height: Up to 2 m

Actions:  Altertive, anti inflammatory, aperient tonic, astrigent, anti neoplastic, diuretic hepatic, laxative, lymphatic alterative, refrigerant, tonic, vulnerary

Known constituents: Glycoside asperuloside, gallotannic acid, citric acid

Coumarins 2 

Iridoid glycosides (asperuloside, acumin) 3

Red dye (including galiosin) 2

Tannins 2

Citric Acid 2

Gallotanic acid 

Constituents Explained:


Native to North America, Europe and Asia.

A climber with club shaped lance??? leaves, and a square stem.  The stem will tend to stick to whatever it comes in contact with, because the leaves and stem are covered with small hairs that have small hooks on the end.

A weed, will tend to cloud out smaller plants and cover them with shade.

At the end of the small stalks are small white or greenish flowers.  They have four petals each 2-3mm across.

It contains many small seeds 4-6mm in complete diameter, also covered with clutching fur.

The fruit is kisney shaped, also with hairs on the stalk.  The roasted fruits are sometimes used as a coffee or tea.

Traditional Use:

Used as a lymphatic tonic.  Its action sees it employed for the tonsils and adenoids as well.

Its commonly used for the urinary system.1  Its used to bring down dangerously high fevers.1

Externally, and internally it has been applied for skin problems, such as eczema, and bites.

A red dye has been extracted from the root.  The Chinese have used it to minimize perspiration.

It normally isn’t eaten raw because of the hooks, but sometimes it is boiled when picked before the fruits appear, and eaten.

Clinical Studies: