Cranesbill (Geranium pratense) is a herbaceous plant that has been used for medicinal purposes since the Roman era, and it still holds relevance today. It contains substances like tannins and flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. It also contains Geranial, Cineol, Limonene, Linalool, and Geranic acid, fragrant oils with strong antimicrobial activity. Cranesbill is an excellent addition to any garden because it attracts pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds with its pollen-rich flowers.

Synonym

Cranesbill (Geranium pratense) is known as spotted geranium, crowfoot, wild crane ‘s-bill, alumroot, chocolate flower, storks bill, old Maid’s Night Cap, sailor’s Knot, rockweed, and shame face.

Habitat

This perennial herb is native to Europe and Asia and is found in eastern North America.

Cranesbill predominates in woodlands, fields, hedgerows, and scrubland from sea level up to 1500 meters altitude. It also thrives in gardens where it will create a dense mat of leaves that smothers other plants.

Cranesbill Geranium pratense

Description

Cranesbill is a perennial herbaceous plant that typically grows to about 30 cm tall. The leaves are linear and strap-shaped, growing up from the ground. It has sticky hairs on its stem, which often cause people to mistake cranesbill for an edible herb when gathering wild herbs for cooking.

The flowers of cranesbill range in color from pink, purple, red, and white. It has both male and female reproductive organs on different plants, which means it can self reproduce if grown near other Cranesbills. However, pollination by insects will increase fruit production.

Part used

The roots and the underground plant stems (rhizomes) are used in herbal medicine, but sometimes the aerial parts are also used.

Traditional Uses and Benefits

Cranesbill (Geranium pratense) is traditionally associated with healthy lung function comes from a German word meaning “to breathe.” In many cultures, this important herb is also believed to ward off evil spirits.

Native Americans traditionally used cranesbill as a remedy for various conditions such as diarrhea, sore throat, and stomach aches.

Cranesbill has also been shown to be effective at treating inflammation in the respiratory tract.

Cranesbill can be consumed or applied externally for these purposes because of its astringent properties that help stop bleeding and heal wounds from cuts and scrapes while reducing swelling due to injury.

Medicinal uses for Cranesbill leaves are primarily in treating bronchitis and other respiratory ailments such as sore throat and asthma. Cranesbill can also be found today, being used topically on skin wounds to reduce inflammation and promote faster healing times.

Cranesbill topical oil, creams, and lotions have been shown to help manage eczema symptoms by reducing redness and inflammation caused by skin irritants such as allergens like animal dander, dust mites, and other environmental particles.

This medicinal plant has been used for centuries to reduce the severity and duration of canker sores. It is a traditional European folk remedy that is still widely found in grocery stores throughout Europe today. It works by inhibiting an enzyme called thromboxane A synthase, which leads to decreased prostaglandin production and inhibits platelet aggregation – both key factors in healing from this type of sore.

Cranesbill contains anti-inflammatory properties as well as tannins, which promote quick wound healing.

Cranesbill is a traditional remedy for dysentery and diarrhea. Cranesbill’s astringency makes it helpful in easing the passage of feces and relieving constipation by increasing bowel movements due to its mild laxative qualities.

Cranesbill is a traditional remedy for internal bleeding and stomach disorders. It has also been noted to have anti-diarrheal properties, which makes it effective against cholera outbreaks.

Cranesbill can be used as a mild remedy to soothe insect stings. The old folk wisdom is that cranesbill has antiseptic properties and will clean the wound if applied immediately after an insect bite, or else it can be rubbed on exposed skin for protection from mosquitoes. Cranesbill extract in the form of oil/cream may also help against itching caused by mosquito bites.

Its extract has been shown to inhibit the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and can be used as a natural alternative for antibiotics.

Cranesbill oil can be used for inflammation, mouth and throat problems such as thrush or tonsillitis, toothaches, and headaches. Cranesbill tea is a good treatment for sinus infections and toothaches.

This plant has been used for centuries to relieve kidney and bladder inflammation, as well as their accompanying pain. Cranesbill is an astringent that helps heal sores in the urinary tract, gouty arthritis, skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis of the ear canal.

Cranesbill also treats menopause symptoms such as heavy menstrual flow to strengthen uterine lining and quicken contractions (which can help prevent bleeding).

Dosage and Precautions

The usual therapeutic dose of the tincture is 20-30 drops three times a day. Tinctures can also be taken straight from the dropper top or mixed with food or drink to disguise their taste.

The flowers are edible and make for an interesting addition to salads. They may also be used in garnishes or as attractive plate decoration.

The plant should not be taken internally without proper guidance from an herbologist. It contains poisonous compounds that, when ingested, could cause vomiting, seizures, coma, or death if not properly prepared. It should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women unless directed to do so, and children shouldn’t use cranesbill internally without first consulting a medical professional for safety reasons.

 

References

  1. Geranium pratense, Meadow cranesbill: identification …. https://first-nature.com/flowers/geranium-pratense.php
  2. Spotted Geranium: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses …. https://www.rxlist.com/spotted_geranium/supplements.htm
  3. Cranesbill – Side Effects, Uses, and Benefits. https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/cranesbill.html
  4. Wild Geranium facts and health benefits. https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/wild-geranium/

 

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