by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com
Also known as: Catchstraw, Cheese Rennet, Lady’s Bedstraw, Maid’s Hair, Our Lady’s Bedstraw, Petty Mugget, Yellow Bedstraw, Yellow Cleavers
Uses: Culinary, Dye, Herbal, Tea, Medicinal, Poultice, Topical Skin Products
Parts used: Flowers, Leaves & Roots
Preparation: Tea, Tinctures, Vinegar,Oil, Flower Essence, Skin Care, Soap-making, Lotions, Ointments, Infused Water
Photo credit: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lady%27s_bedstraw_(Galium_verum),_Heartwood_Forest_(28529823823).jpg
- Symbolizes: Love, Rejoicing, Rudeness
- Associated with: New hope, ideas and grace. Freedom from the past, vulnerability, and release of grief and sorrow.
- Element: Water
- Governed by: Venus
Yellow Bed-straw was once used to stuff mattress. It has been written that Mary stuffed the bed for Baby Jesus with Yellow Bed-straw. It has a fresh fragrance of vanilla and cut grass.
- The seeds are edible and can be roasted and ground into a caffeine-free, coffee substitute.
- The young shoots can be boiled for ten to fifteen minutes as a veggie topped with butter or added to a salad.
- The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.
- The leaves and stems can be used as a curdling agent in cheese making.
- The flowers infused in water creates a refreshing beverage.
Health and Wellness
Lady’s Bed-straw has been used for treating cancer, epilepsy, hysteria, spasms, tumors, loss of appetite, gravel, stone or urinary disorders, and chest and lung ailments. It is also used to increase urine output (as a diuretic) for relieving water retention, especially swollen ankles. It soothes reddened skin, reduces inflammation making it useful in a poultice for cuts, skin infections, slow-healing wounds etc.
Well known Herbalist Culpepper suggested the juice from this plant for earaches.
The leaves, stems and flowering shoots are antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, and high in C making them good for spring tonic and scurvy. As a wash or lotion, it is said to fade freckles and sunburn and great for psoriasis.
A yellow dye is made from the flowering stems and used as food colouring and hair dye, and red dyes are extracted from its roots. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowering tops.
Recent research by Schmidt et al (2014) has supported Galium verums traditional use as an anticancer remedy, as it demonstrated DNA protection against benzapyrene, a toxic compound in cigarette smoke.
- Effect of Galium verum aqueous extract on growth, motility and gene expression in drug-sensitive and -resistant laryngeal carcinoma cell lines
Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.