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Health Benefits and Uses of Lady's Bedstraw

Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum)Health Benefits of Lady's Bedstraw / Kidney Health: (Urinary Issues, Diuretic) / Respiratory Health: (Throat Health)  / Skin Care: / Cancer - Treatment and Prevention: / Antioxidant: | Uses of Lady's Bedstraw (Traditional Uses of Lady's Bedstraw, Culinary Uses of Lady's Bedstraw, Other Uses of Lady's Bedstraw)

Galium verum popularly known as Lady’s Bedstraw, Yellow Spring bedstraw is a perennial and is closely related to hedge bedstraw and Cleavers.. Its stems have a height within 10-75 cm, they are as if pubescent with soft short down. The leaves are spiky, dark green in a young plant, and slightly lighter in an already mature bedstraw. A feature of the plant is that the lower leaves closest to the rhizome have a characteristic gray pubescence, similar in appearance to velvet. As for the flowers, they are small and collected in inflorescences, like a brush in a thick pyramidal panicles. The color of the petals is light yellow, and the flowering time is the second half of summer, from late June to August. The plant is not toxic and can be tasted, it must be astringent.

The plant is native to most of Europe, North Africa, and temperate Asia from Palestine and Israel, Lebanon and Turkey to Japan and Kamchatka. It is naturalized in Tasmania, New Zealand, Canada, and the northern half of the United States where it is typically found in a variety of locations including dry-sandy meadows, rocky outcrops, waste areas, roadsides, banks, dunes and seashores. It is considered a noxious weed in some places. It grows mainly on the plains and in the steppes. The geography of distribution of the plant is impressive, the Lady's Bedstraw grows, starting from Greece, where it is called gala (from the ability to curl milk from cows that eat it), and to the Tatar tribes, where the plant is called yogurt, again, for the same reason. Lady's Bedstraw grows in Eurasia, and in Asia, and in North Africa. Alas, often people take it for a useless weed. Plants love partial shade, moist soils and tolerate winter cold.

Healers of different nations have different names for this plant: a Boot, a Breast, a Yellow Porridge, a Worm, a Cutting and a Cutting Grass. This is due to the fact that all herbalists are well aware of the benefits that are hidden in the plant. Lady’s Bedstraw is an herb that was, and in some cases still is, widely used in not only medicinal way but also as a part of everyday lives. It is used as an incredible red dye, cheese and milk flavoring and followed by a variety of beliefs and folk stories. Lady’s Bedstraw has been used for thousands of years. Medicinally, it is used for the skin, throat and all the systems of liquids in the body. It doesn’t have a wide range of benefits but what it does, it does deeply and strongly.

All parts of the plant contain ascorbic acid, vitamin C and carotene (provitamin A), steroid saponins, iridoid glycosides, coumarin, anthraquinone, tannins, a number of carotenoids and flavonoids. In addition, the plant is rich in rare types of acids. The Lady's Bedstraw contains very valuable trace elements, like flavonoids, small amounts of iridoid glycosides, tannins, traces of essential oil, enzymes which coagulate animal milk, plant acids. Among them zinc, copper, chromium, nickel, thallium, titanium. And also in the composition there is vanadium, molybdenum, manganese, iron. But renin, which causes a curdling effect, is found only in the leaves and inflorescences of the plant.

Kidney Health:

One of the prime uses of this herb includes improving as well as maintaining the health of kidneys. It helps in dissolving kidney stones and hence at the same time tends to be effective in cleaning it of any toxins.

Urinary Issues:

The herb has been known to be effective in treating disease related to urinary tract. Extract from this herb has been known to kill bacteria in the intestine and can at the same time remove issues such as intestinal ulcers.

Diuretic:

Lady's Bedstraw is a successful diuretic. A tea prepared from this herb helps detoxify the liver, kidneys, spleen and pancreas. It is advisable that people suffering from a lymphatic system disorder should drink this herbal tea every day. It is used as a remedy in gravel, stone, cystitis or urinary disorders. Its diuretic properties help flush out the toxins from your body and along with them, the uric acid which the main cause of pain in gout and arthritis. Lady’s Bedstraw is extensively used in folk medicine for treating swollen ankles.

Respiratory Health:

Throat Health:

Lady’s bedstraw is helpful for various problems regarding the throat and the organs close to it. With this intention, you can use it as a tea or as a gargle. Thyroid issues, goiter, and vocal cords inflammations also benefit from this herb.

Skin Care:

Lady’s Bedstraw is related with the treatment of many skin-related conditions. The herb helps to solve complaints of slow-healing wounds. When applied topically as a poultice on cuts, skin infections, ringworm, eczema, ulcers, scabies, boils, rashes, psoriasis, allergies, and slow-healing wounds, it calms the skin and reduces inflammation, helping the skin to heal. It also helps in reducing bleeding. Additionally, this tea is also a wonderful face wash and helps to firm up the facial skin, as well as helping with acne and blackheads.

Cancer - Treatment and Prevention:

It helps with different cancers. Skin cancer, tongue cancer and larynx cancer.

Antioxidant:

The antioxidant properties of methanol extracts of Galium verum from two different localities in Serbia were evaluated. Antioxidant activity was assessed in four different model systems. The antioxidant activities of aerial parts of Galium verum were investigated employing various in vitro assay systems and nitric oxide radical scavenging, reducing power and H2O2 scavenging. Methanolic extracts of Galium verum showed more effective peroxidation inhibition ability compared with water extract although relatively lower total phenolic compounds than its water extract.

Traditional Uses of Lady's Bedstraw:

  • Lady’s bedstraw has a long history of use as an herbal medicine, though it is little used in modern medicine.
  • Its main application is as a diuretic and as a treatment for skin complaints.
  • Leaves, stems and flowering shoots are antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, foot care, lithontripic and vulnerary.
  • Plant is used as a remedy in gravel, stone or urinary disorders and is believed to be a remedy for epilepsy.
  • The cut and dried aerial parts of Galium verum have been used for exogenous treatment of psoriasis or delayed wound healing or as a tea for the cure of pyelitis or cystitis.
  • Powder made from the fresh plant is used to soothe reddened skin and reduce inflammation whilst the plant is also used as a poultice on cuts, skin infections, slow-healing wounds etc.
  • It was also used in the bleeding of the nose and stomach problems, and it was said that it peculiarly beneficial in scorbutic, scrofulous, and dropsical complaints.
  • It was applied externally in poultice, used for indolent tumors, strumous swellings and tumors of the breast.
  • Internally it was used in decoction sweetened with honey, for urinary stone complaints, scurvy, dropsy, hysterics, epilepsy and gout.
  • It was also used in the bleeding of the nose and stomach problems, and it was said that it peculiarly beneficial in scorbutic, scrofulous, and dropsical complaints.
  • Cut and dried aerial parts have been used for exogenous treatment of psoriasis or delayed wound healing or as a tea for the cure of pyelitis or cystitis.
  • The plant was also used in traditional medicine as an anticancer medicine applied in most cases as a decoction.
  • Tea made out of the leaves is known to be effective in curing urinary issues.
  • Lady’s Bedstraw is used for treating cancer, epilepsy, hysteria, spasms, and tumors, loss of appetite & chest & lung ailments.
  • It is also used to increase urine output for relieving water retention, especially swollen ankles.
  • It is advisable that people suffering from a lymphatic system disorder should drink this herbal tea every day.
  • Tea is also useful for treating dropsy, anemia & suture in the side.
  • Yellow Bedstraw can be used for treating conditions, such as hysteria, nervous disorders, St. Vitus dance or chorea, suppressed urine, stones & gravels in the bladder.
  • People suffering from goiter may find this herb beneficial if they gargle the tea throughout the day.
  • You can make pillows of bedstraw to combat sleeplessness.
  • Tea prepared with the herb is effective in cleansing the kidneys, liver, pancreas as well as the spleen of toxic materials.
  • Its tea is also used topically to heal skin complaints, boils, wounds as well as blackheads.
  • This tea is also a wonderful face wash and helps to firm up the facial skin.
  • Yellow Bedstraw was extremely valued as a medication for women’s problems, particularly in treating uterus disorders.
  • The herb was also laid in the beds of women during childbirth as it was known to alleviate the difficulties endured during delivery.
  • Europe and Northern America for the treatment of cancerous ulcers or breast cancer.

Culinary Uses of Lady's Bedstraw:

  • Leaves can be consumed raw or cooked.
  • Yellow dye from the flowering stems is used as a food coloring.
  • Roasted seeds are considered a good substitute for coffee.
  • The seed is also said to be edible.
  • The chopped up plant can be used as rennet to coagulate plant milks.
  • It was applied externally in poultice, used for indolent tumors, strumous swellings and tumors of the breast.
  • The flowering tops are distilled in water to make a refreshing acid beverage.

Other Uses of Lady's Bedstraw:

  • Red dye is obtained from the root.
  • It is rather tricky to utilize.
  • Yellow dye is obtained from the flowering tops.
  • Dye is obtained from the foliage when it is boiled with alum.
  • Dried plant has the scent of newly mown hay; it was formerly used as a strewing herb and for stuffing mattresses etc.
  • It is said to keep fleas away.
  • A sprig in a shoe is said to prevent blisters.
  • The stem and leaves of this Galium yield good yellow dye, which has been used to great extent in Ireland.
  • In Denmark, the plant (known locally as gul snerre) is traditionally used to infuse spirits, making the uniquely Danish drink bjæsk.
  • In medieval Europe, the dried plants were used to stuff mattresses.
  • The coumarin scent of the plants acts as a flea repellant.
Health Benefits and Uses of Lady's Bedstraw