Why is my dog eating ‘Sticky Weed’ / Clivers / Goosegrass
I have been meaning to write this blog post for a few weeks now, well I get reminded everytime my dogs do an excellent impression of grazing cows at the hedge side and I am always amazed at their enthusiasm and determination to eat as much as possible! This very common herb has a few common names…Cleavers, Clivers, Goosegrass or even as described in Culpepers Complete Herbal book ‘Bed Straw’! But I am sure we all know what it is when we say ‘Sticky Weed’ although it’s proper name is Galium aparine
Dogs love eating it at the moment as all the new shoots are fresh and at their most nutritious, but why are they so transfixed on this herb? According to Culpeper, It is thought to be excellent for cleansing the blood and strengthening the liver and overall to get the body in good health ready for the change in season. In other more scientific publications, Clivers is stated to possess diuretic and mild stringent properties. 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 the 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.