Benefits Of Cranesbill (Geranium Maculatum) For Health

Benefits Of Cranesbill (Geranium Maculatum) For Health

Cranesbill (Geranium Maculatum)

Cranesbill (Geranium Maculatum) is known as other names: American cranesbill, spotted cranesbill, spotted geranium, alumroot, alum bloom, wild geranium, storksbill, chocolate flower, crowfoot, dovefoot, Old-maid's-nightcap, shameface, flekkstorkenebb (Norwegian), amerikansk storkenæb (Danish).

Cranesbill, belonging to genus Geranium, is a perennially growing herb which grows up to a height of 30 to 60 cm. The leaves of this herb appear in opposite pair and are generally split into five jagged lobes. Cranesbill blooms between April and June and each flower of this plant has five petals whose color varies from light pink to pinkish purple. The flowers appear in bunches at the tip of the stems that are hairy. The fruits of this herb are bizarrely identical to the crane's bill which gives the plant its name. Many people feature the cranesbill flowers in their gardens without even realizing the potential healing powers that the plants possess when used as herbs.

Benefits Of Cranesbill (Geranium Maculatum) For Health
Cranesbill (Geranium Maculatum) Flower Picture

Early European settlers in North America adopted this herbal medication from the indigenous Indians, as it was established that the remedy was not only effectual, but also safe. Members of the Chippewas tribe in North America dried and pounded the rhizome or the subversive stem of cranesbill to powder and applied it to lesions in the mouth, particularly in the case of kids. Other native Indian tribes suffused cranesbill in water and used the solution as eyewash. Powdered rhizome of the herb blended with different other herbs plus water was applied topically to lesions and open wounds. This blend was also used in the form of a poultice to heal swollen feet. In addition, many native Indians in North America also consumed the tender leaves of cranesbill as food.

Benefits Of Cranesbill (Geranium Maculatum) For Health

Cranesbill is an astringent as well as a blood coagulation agent and till date the herb is being used for these properties as it was used in ancient times. Due to the high tannin content the herb it has both astringent and antiseptic properties and today’s herbal medicine employs the cranesbill herb for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea (especially in children and the elderly), dysentery, Crohn's disease, gastro-intestinal catarrh, ulcers, colitis as well as hemorrhoids.

Since cranesbill encloses tannin, the rhizome or subversive stem of the herb works like an astringent externally - a substance that results in the constriction of the skin and mucous membranes. Additionally, cranesbill also works as an agent to stop hemorrhages (bleeding). Owing to these attributes of the herb, it is perhaps also effectual when used internally to treat diarrhea. Cranesbill is known to possess astringent, styptic (a substance or medication that helps to stop bleeding) and stimulant properties. The herb is also used to stop internal hemorrhages.

As a mouthwash or gargle the cranesbill herb can be effective against thrush, inflammation of the mouth and throat, tonsillitis and toothaches.

The cranesbill fresh leaves can also be rubbed on insect stings and used as a mosquito repellant. It has been found that cranesbill is very active against the bacteria that cause tuberculosis.

In North America, the native Blackfoot Indians employed cranesbill rhizome or root as well other plants closely related to the herb to stop hemorrhages. In addition, several other native tribes of North America also used cranesbill to treat diarrhea.

Benefits Of Cranesbill (Geranium Maculatum) For Health
Cranesbill (Geranium Maculatum) Picture

Owing to its rich tannin content, cranesbill is known to be a potent astringent that was originally introduced to medicine by the indigenous Indians of North America. Till this day, many experienced physicians in America use this herb to lessen inflammation of mucous membranes and reinstate the health of the veins. In face, this herb is a particularly potent astringent for treating passive bleeding, for instance what happens in the case of hemotysis (expelling blood or bloody mucus), hematuria (presence of blood in urine) and menorrhagia (profuse menstrual discharge). In addition, the herb also has very powerful healing consequences on the total gastrointestinal tract.

In addition, it has been found that cranesbill is very active against the bacteria that cause tuberculosis and the early American Indians depended on this herb to cure several medical conditions, including dysentery, diarrhea and leucorrhea (yellowish vaginal discharges that is an indication of an infection).

Less common uses of the cranesbill herb are for the treatment of eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis and moderate retina irritations. Diabetic patients may turn to cranesbill as a possible natural treatment for vision problems.

Apart from its therapeutic uses, cranesbill is a wonderful plant that serves as shady borders, open woodlands gardens and also shady local plant gardens. A number of birds consume the ripened seeds of cranesbill in the typical, beak-shaped seed capsules that has given the herb's common name as crane's bill.

Cranesbill (Geranium Maculatum) Side effects and cautions

Cranesbill is considered a safe herb to use, but normal precautions should be taken with the herb as with all other herbs. It should not be used during pregnancy or by nursing mothers. The root contains large amounts of tannins which can be toxic to the liver if used for long periods.

Although cranesbill is an effective herbal remedy, its use might result in some side effects. For instance, some people may suffer from indigestion after using cranesbill internally. Hence, it is advisable that you should not take this herbal medication for over three weeks at a stretch, unless a qualified practitioner of herbal medicine has recommended otherwise.