There are few different plants found in North America that can be used to make a coffee or tea substitute. However finding caffeine can be a challenge.

Cleaves are oddly enough (at least, it’s odd to me) in the same family as coffee. Yes, coffee. It’s seeds can be ground to make cleavers coffee.

It does have signification less caffeine than coffee and it doesn’t taste a whole lot like coffee, unlike dandelion or chicory tea. But, if you love that caffeine boost, it can get you there if you’re without your normal coffee drip.

Cleavers (Galium aparine) is a wild plant native to Europe and the Balkins and can be found in the North America. It’s both edible and medicinal.


Overview: A sprawling, annual herbs. No branching, but one continuous stem. Whorled Leaves. Velcro-like hairs cover the entire plant.

Leaves: Thin, wider at the end than in the middle or near the stem. The end of the leaf is rounded or rounded with a tiny point at the very end. Whorled.

Stems: Angular, square, tiny fibrous hairs.

Seeds: Round, tiny fibrous hairs that act like velcro.

Flowers: Cleaver blooms are small, white, and nestle-in with the leaves and not a large plume of blossoms off the end of the plant.


  • Cleavers are not safe to consume if the individual is on any blood-thinning medication, including aspirin.
  • Many people are allergic to cleavers so try only a small amount first.
  • Cleavers may stimulate contractions in pregnant women. Don’t consume during pregnancy except after your due date.
  • Touching the plant may cause dermatitis. Use caution.
  • For attempting to treat severe fevers, snake bites, or other medical emergencies, please seek professional medical help first.

Medicinal Uses

Cleavers have MANY medicinal uses and these uses go back thousands of years. Not all of these uses have been studied thoroughly, so I’ll only go into detail the ones supported by modern science. However, here’s an overview of the reported medicinal uses:

  • Cleanses the blood and removed toxins by supporting the kidneys and acting as a diuretic
  • Helps with kidney and urinary disorders
  • Treat ezcema
  • Help reduce swollen lymph nodes during an illness
  • Protecting the heart from snake (specifically, an adder) venom
  • Stop bleeding of a wound
  • Can help reduce weight gain in those prone to gain weight (high fiber content)
  • Reduces fevers

The only use I personally wouldn’t use unless I had no choice would be to use against an adder snake bite. We’re very lucky we can benefit from herbal remedies as well as modern medicine. Herbal remedies tend to have fewer side affects and can be a part of a healthy lifestyle and help prevent long-term ailments. Nonetheless, modern medicine is a huge asset.

Cleavers Fever Tea


  • 4 grams Dried Cleavers can use fresh if needed
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water
  • Honey to taste


Warnings: Do not consume if you are using blood-thinning medication.


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