Limeflower and Cleaver Decoction
(Citrus aurantifolia and Galium aparine)
The lime tree (also known as linden) is one of approximately thirty species of ornamental trees native to the Northern Hemisphere; it is a natural hybrid between two varieties. This spreading tree has dark and shiny, heart-shaped leaves with yellow to white flowers. These appear in midsummer.
Cleavers (Galium aparine, goosegrass, stickyweed, sticky Willy) is a climbing garden and hedgerow weed found in Europe and Asia. It is best known for its habit of sticking to anything that it touches with tenacious little hooks. The leaves grow in whorls, greenish white flowers bloom in June and July, followed by two-lobed bristly fruits. Cleavers belongs to the same family (Rubiacea) as the coffee plant, which explains why its seeds make a good coffee substitute. It is edible when cooked and used as a vegetable in China.
Cleavers has traditionally been used in folk medicine to treat all skin disorders and was considered beneficial in the treatment of wounds, ulcers, and rashes. It is used by current herbalists for ulcers, skin inflammations, minor injuries and psoriasis.
Listed in the German Pharmacopoeia, the lime tree flower contains flavonoids and other phytochemicals that may be behind the medical properties attributed to the plant.
Linden flowers and leaves are mucilaginous, which makes them soothing when applied topically. The plant is also a natural astringent (which means it checks bleeding and constricts tissues).
When making our decoction, we mash up the lime flowers and the cleavers, simmer them in water, then strain the mixture for use in our products.
We use the lime flower and cleavers decoction as an astringent and skin conditioning in our intense Volcano foot mask.