Cleavers are annuals with creeping straggling stems which branch and grow along the ground and over other plants. They attach themselves with the small hooked hairs which grow out of the stems and leaves. The stems can reach up to three feet or longer, and are angular or square shaped. The leaves are simple, narrowly oblanceolate to linear, and borne in whorls of six to eight.
- Cleavers is one of numerous plants considered in ancient times to act as a diuretic.
- It was therefore used to relieve edema and to promote urine formation during bladder infections.
- It has also been used by people with lymph swellings, jaundice, and wounds.