Wild Geranium (Geranium matulatum) or cranesbill as it is often called can be found in growing wild in Eastern, Central and the Midwest U.S. states.
You’ll find it growing in woodsy areas. It’s all over the place here in Illinois where I live.
Did you know it’s the state flower of Michigan?
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This pretty wildflower grows in patches spread by it’s rhizome, the tubular root-like horizontal underground stem, that produces roots below and sends up shoots of new plants above ground. When the rhizome gets broken up each piece makes a whole new plant. So if you harvest cranesbill just be sure to leave some of the rhizome and the plants will multiply on their own.
Cranesbill reaches up to 2 ft. in height and has lovely little purple, pink or white flowers depending on the species and has deeply lobed toothed leaves. I only remember seeing the purple in my neck of the woods.
The fruit kind of look like a cranes bill, hence the common name cranesbill.
The roots have an extremely high percentage of tannin (up to 25%) which makes this plant one of the most astringent plants of all.
Most people lump the rhizome in with the root and just call everything underground the root, so for simplicity sake, that’s how I will refer to it from here on.
The root of the plant is the most potent and the most commonly used. That’s the part I make my tinctures and infused oils from. I do dry the aerial parts rather than throw them away and use them for teas and poultices.
So what are the many amazing health benefits of Wild Geranium?
Well, because of it’s high tannin content it’s an astringent plant which helps dry up weepy wet wounds. Think cold sores. This doesn’t necessarily heal the wound, but it does help to dry it up so it can heal and not become infected.
Because if it’s high astringent properties it tightens and shrinks the tissues and pores closing the off from bacteria and germs getting in. This is it’s awesome power.
Think pucker power! That’s why Wild Geranium makes such a good ointment for hemorrhoids.
Wild geranium can be used as a mouth wash or gargle for canker sores in the mouth, sore throat, tonsillitis, inflamed gums and thrush.
This plant is also used for Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS), colitis, diarrhea, and thrush.
Wild geranium also has homeostatic properties and has been said to work as an agent to stop internal bleeding. The aerial parts can be mashed and used as a poultice to stop a bleeding wound.
It can also be useful in slowing down heavy bleeding during menstruation.
Note: It’s said that Wild Geranium is safe overall, but should not be used for extended periods of time and should not be used by pregnant or nursing mothers.
I came across this video from herbalist Jim McDonald (who is so knowledgeable) and thought you would get a lot out of it.
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So there you have it. Who knew there were so many uses for Wild Geranium or the common cranesbill? It’s one more important herbs to be added to the home herbalists apothecary.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor. None of the information in this article, on this website or elsewhere is meant to diagnose, treat or cure any health concern. It is not meant to take the place of medical advice. Always seek advice from your doctor for health issues and before using herbs or herbal remedies. This article is for informational purposes only and are only my personal opinions based on study and research I have done. Please do your own research before using herbs or herbal remedies. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
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