Cleavers & Nettle Spring Tonic

This recipe comes courtesy of Ruby Taylor, artist/ maker & teacher of Native Hands – a wonderful programme of ‘wild’ crafts, including basketry, pottery and fire making. Ruby’s courses are held mostly outdoors in woodland and have evolved out of a love of making things in nature using natural materials.  Find out more on her website/ blog.

Ruby says:

Cleavers grow abundantly in gardens/allotments and any marginal area. Also known as goose grass and sticky willie, it’s the one that you can throw at your friend’s back & it’ll stick there without them feeling a thing. Cleavers and nettles make one of the best spring tonics (great for the lymphatic system & full of nutrition). This is one of my very favourite things to make as spring arrives. I’ll be having a glass of this every morning for the next month or so. Cheers, all!


Gather a small handful of the young leaves of each plant & crush in a pestle & mortar with half a glass of water added. Strain & keep the juice, Repeat the crushing & straining, to get a glassful of juice. Drink straight away while it’s vibrant green.

Images credits: Leonora Enking & Ruby Taylor

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