Wet and windy February's wild food of the month has got to be (one of my favs) cleavers. At the moment their tiny green succulent shoots are spouting up all over the place and they are packed full of goodness!
Cleavers (Galium aparine) also known as goosegrass or sticky weed is best know by kids for its great velcro like properties (as it can be stuck to your back when your not looking and clings there until some kind person points it out!) But the really great thing about cleavers are its health benifits, as it is very good for clensing your body. It helps the lymphatic system to get rid of various toxins in the body by flushing them into the bloodstream which can then be cleansed by the liver and the kidneys. In this way it has a two tone effect; 1: its stimulates the organs in the lymphatic system to flush out toxins 2: once all nasties are out and into the bloodstream it helps to cleanse the blood and rid yourself of the toxins, amazing!
There are many ways to take/cook/prep cleavers such as straight, in salad (leaves a tingle in the mouth!), pesto, tea, tonic, wines, lemonades... I think the best and most potent way is to juice it.
When picking make sure you follow the foraging rules and as always be carfull to know exactly what your picking (as of course some plants can be harmful)
Cleavers spring tonic juice
Pick half/half fresh young cleavers and fresh young nettle tips add a little fresh ginger to taste and juice!