Herb latin name: Galium gracile

Family: Rubiaceae (Madder Family)

Medicinal use of Galium gracile:

The whole plant is anodyne, antiphlogistic, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge. A decoction is used in the treatment of boils and abscesses, bloody and mucoid dysentery, gonorrhoea, "red" and "white" discharge (bloody and mucous discharge), cancerous tumours and infantile marismus. A number of species in this genus contain asperuloside, a substance that produces coumarin and gives the scent of new-mown hay as the plant dries. Asperuloside can be converted into prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels), making the genus of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

Description of the plant:


15 cm
(6 inches)

Habitat of the herb:

Village outskirts, grassy thickets along ditches.

Edible parts of Galium gracile:

Leaves - raw or cooked.

Other uses of the herb:

A red dye is obtained from the root.

Propagation of Galium gracile:

Seed - best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in late summer. The seed can also be sown in spring though it may be very slow to germinate. This plant does not really need any help to reproduce itself. Division in spring or throughout the growing season if the plants are kept well watered. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Village outskirts, grassy thickets along ditches.

Known hazards of Galium gracile:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.