Clivers (Galium aparine) is also known commonly as Goosegrass as well as some other lovely country names such as Hedgeheriff, Hayruff, Catchweed and Robin-run-in-the-Grass. Many of these are probably to do with the fact that it grows upwards by clinging onto other plants, as well as catching on our clothing of course. It grows throughout Europe and also in North America and is related to Cinchona, from which quinine is derived, and also to coffee.
All these genus of plants have value both as foods and medicines and Clivers main use is as a diuretic and astringent, but it is also used for many skin complaints. It has been used in ointments for burns and ulcers and in France as a poultice for sores and blisters. Clivers contains iridoid glycosides which are anti-inflammatory and anthraquinones which are diuretic, and it is its ability to maintain and mildly increase the flow of urine which is its main medicinal use as it keeps the kidneys and bladder functioning well and so also helps to flush toxins from the system.
So it is possible that when your dog is eating Clivers it is giving itself a bit of a spring clean, and that naturally it knows this is beneficial at this time of the year. The only downside is that for dogs to benefit from the nutrients in any plant it needs to be well broken down or pulped, so they need to chew it very thoroughly – alternatively Clivers is one of the ingredients in our ”Keeper’s Mix”®, where it is powdered and so able to be absorbed, along with the other 7 herbs in this super supplement.