It is usually seen on St John’s Day when wreaths of its flowers are made and hung above the door. Its yellow flowers smell of honey and are a true symbol of a warm and carefree summer. Lady’s bedstraw is not only a decorative plant – it has been used widely throughout history, both in the household and in folk medicine.
In the past, lady’s bedstraw was used as rennet – with the help of its leaves milk curdles and at the same time cheese develops a sweet taste and a beautiful yellow colour. That is why it was called ‘cheese renning’ in England for a while. Even today, this cheese-making technique lives on in some Greek villages; the association with milk still lives on in the plant’s scientific name, Galium verum, from the Greek gala, which means milk.
The English name used for this plant today – lady’s bedstraw – originates from the mediaeval custom of filling mattresses with dried lady’s bedstraw. In addition to smelling nice, this plant also contains a large percentage of coumarin, which was used successfully to repel insects, especially fleas, which were not only a menace at the time, but also a carrier of dangerous diseases.
PLANT WITH PRECIOUS INGREDIENTS
Lady’s bedstraw has the widest use in treating diseases, both around the world and in our region. It contains a number of beneficial ingredients: quercetin glycosides, saponins, flavonoids, minerals, organic acids, vitamin C, essential oil – thanks to them it has antioxidant, cytotoxic, antimicrobial, protective and endocrine properties.
Which organs benefit from lady’s bedstraw? Liver, stomach, skin, the nervous system, digestive organs, kidneys and the urinary tract, respiratory organs, vocal cords, thyroid gland, the female reproductive system… essentially – the whole body. This herb helps when our joints swell, when we have irritations or skin disorders such as eczema or psoriasis, when we have a sore throat, when we are anaemic, when we suffer from constipation, leg cramps, haemorrhoids, have difficulty urinating, have sand or kidney stones, suffer from hypothyroidism, metabolic syndrome, cellulite and obesity. It is used for gargling, treating subcutaneous ulcers, swollen lymph glands, heavy menstruation, haemorrhoids, insomnia, dizziness, nervousness, inflammation of the bladder and kidneys, fever, anaemia… It can also help with more complex disorders: in French traditional medicine, it is known as a therapy for epilepsy. When used as a wound dressing, it has a healing effect on wounds, inflammation, subcutaneous ulcers and blackheads and even melanoma. Its action against several types of cancer has been proven.
A study has found that using an extract of this medicinal plant can stimulate work of the thyroid gland and ovaries, whose functions are impaired due to stress. Moreover, thanks to antioxidant properties that lady’s bedstraw has thanks to flavones and catechins, this plant destroys free radicals and provides proven protection against malignant cells; it is believed that it can be used as an adjuvant therapy for some types of cancer.
Lady’s bedstraw with its polyphenols has been proven to lead to the reduction in coronary disorders. This plant protects the heart muscle, repairs damage to the systolic function and has a vasodilating effect after ischemic heart disease. Flavonoids from the plant contribute to better circulation, prevent atherosclerosis and deep vein thrombosis, as well as diabetic foot, which are conditions that Chinese traditional medicine has treated for centuries, and now the effect of lady’s bedstraw on them has been scientifically proven.
LADY’S BEDSTRAW CLEANS OUR LIVER AND KEEPS US SLIM
One of the main characteristics of this plant is that it is a powerful cleanser of the body: it helps expel harmful substances from the liver, spleen, kidneys and pancreas. If used regularly, it cleanses both the urinary tract and the lymphatic system. The body can blossom when it rids itself of toxins: the skin becomes radiant, the stomach and intestines work better and absorb nutrients from food more efficiently, there are no allergies and metabolism functions at full strength. The fact that lady’s bedstraw cleanses and protects the liver has also been scientifically proven: in one study, a dose of 25 mg/kg of plant extract showed a strong hepatoprotective effect, which was confirmed on the basis of all biological parameters and histopathological analysis.
In addition to expelling from the body everything that should not be there, this plant with its antioxidant action has been proven to activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which contributes to reducing oxidative damage caused by stress, and thus to a healthy metabolism and normal appetite. Today, when humanity is facing a real epidemic of obesity, overeating caused by mental stress is one of its main causes. This is where lady’s bedstraw comes into play as a fighter against the negative effects of stress: by reducing the negative effects of cortisol and balancing the endocrine system, this medicinal plant cuts the root cause of obesity.
Lady’s bedstraw is a powerful diuretic and a strong stimulant for the lymph; good lymph flow increases drainage and excretion of excess water from the body. This beneficial effect can be seen on the outside: the skin becomes cleaner and the body slimmer, without cellulite. That is why lady’s bedstraw is a common ingredient in fitness herbal mixtures. This “super-cleanser” helps us to be more beautiful, to bring our weight back to normal, to have clean skin and in general – to feel lighter and more energetic.
That is why it is not accidental that this great plant is an ingredient of Equigal along with angelica, peppermint, marigold and horsetail. Equigal is a completely natural preparation that helps with digestive issues, problems with obesity, bloating, distention, constipation, cellulite and swelling. It is especially suitable for body cleansing treatments in the spring and autumn. With lady’s bedstraw and Equigal we become as light as a summer’s day.
This plant is in the following products:
Our other herbs: