Discover This Forgotten 13th Century Spring Detox Drink

There is an ancient wild plant called Cleavers or Goosegrass (Galium aparine) that carries a secret of the hedgerow believed to have been handed to humans by fairy-folk.

This hedgerow detox recipe comes from a collection of herbal remedies created by Rhiwallon Feddyg. He founded a medical dynasty called ‘The Physicians of Myddfai’ in the 13th century, which lasted 500 years.

Each year, when the first shoots of Cleavers appear in January, I make this recipe.

It is said to cleanse the body and lymphatic system. To the Myddfai healers it was considered a panacea plant.

I have added lemons as they support the digestive system and act as a diuretic, which helps flush out waste products from the body.

In the original 13th century recipe, it is suggested that you add sea salt which helps the adrenal glands produce cortisol. Important for waking up in the morning.

  1. Take four handfuls of cleavers (around 100g) and chop finely.
  2. Place in a large glass jug and fill with 2 litres of cold spring water.
  3. Allow to infuse overnight (six hours minimum), then strain and drink. No other drinks (apart from water) are allowed.
  4. Strain the liquid into a clean jug or saucepan. Using your hand, squeeze out any excess liquid from the cleavers and discard the plant material.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt (only for the first week).
  6. [Optional] Add 2 sliced lemons.
  7. Refridgerate and drink a minimum of 1 litre a day.
  8. The liquid will only stay fresh for about three days, so you will need to keep making it.