- A Modern Herbal, by Mrs. M. Grieve Home Page

Cranesbill Root, American

Botanical: Geranium maculatum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Geraniaceae

---Synonyms---Alum Root. Spotted Cranesbill. Wild Cranesbill. Storksbill. Alum Bloom. Wild Geranium. Chocolate Flower. Crowfoot. Dove's-foot. Old Maid's Nightcap. Shameface.
---Parts Used---Dried rhizome, leaves.
---Habitat---Flourishes in low grounds and woods from Newfoundland to Manitoba, south to Georgia, Missouri and in Europe.

---Description---A perennial, grows from 1 to 2 feet high. The entire plant is erect and unbranched, more or less covered with hairs; the leaves deeply parted, each division again cleft and toothed, flowering April to June, colour pale to rosy purple, petals veined and woolly at base, fruit a beaked capsule, divided into five cells, each cell containing one seed, the root stocks 2 to 4 inches long thick with numerous branches for the next growth, outside brown, white and fleshy inside when fresh, when dried it turns to a darkish purple inside; no odour, taste strongly astringent, contains much tannin which is most active just before the plant flowers. This is the time the root should be collected for drying.

---Constituents---Tannic and gallic acid, also starch, sugar, gum, pectin and colouring matter.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Styptic, astringent, tonic. Used for piles and internalbleeding. Excellent as an injection for flooding and leucorrhoea, and taken internally for diarrhoea, children's cholera, chronic dysentery; a good gargle.

The leaves are also used and give the greatest percentage of tannin and should be collected before the plant seeds.

---Dosages---15 to 30 grains. Infusion, 1 OZ. herb to 1 pint water. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Geranin, 1 to 3 grains.

---Other Species---
The English herb Geranium dissectum has similar properties.


Purchase from Richters Seeds
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Mrs. Kingsley Geranium (Pelargonium 'Mrs. Kingsley') Plants
Mrs. Taylor Geranium (Pelargonium 'Mrs. Taylor') Plants
Nutmeg Geranium (Pelargonium x fragrans) Plants
Old Spice Geranium (Pelargonium x fragrans 'Logeei') Plants
Peacock Geranium (Pelargonium 'Peacock') Plants
Peppermint Geranium (Pelargonium tomentosum) Plants
Pine Geranium (Pelargonium denticulatum) Plants
Prince of Orange Geranium (Pelargonium citrosum) Plants
Prince Rupert Geranium (Pelargonium crispum 'Prince Rupert') Plants
Pungent Peppermint Geranium (Pelargonium 'Pungent Peppermint') Plants
Rober’s Lemon-Rose Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens 'Rober’s Lemon-Rose') Plants
Rose Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) Plants
Scarlet Unique Geranium (Pelargonium x ignescens) Plants
Skeleton-Rose Geranium (Pelargonium radens) Plants
Staghorn Oak Geranium (Pelargonium quercifolium) Plants
Strawberry Geranium (Pelargonium x scarboroviae) Plants
Swarlberg Geranium (Pelargonium 'Swarlberg') Plants
Variegated Nutmeg Geranium (Pelargonium x fragrans 'Variegated') Plants
Variegated Oak Geranium (Pelargonium 'Variegated Oak') Plants
Variegated Prince Rupert Geranium (Pelargonium crispum 'Variegated Prince Rupert') Plants
Geranium, Austrian Plants

Common Name Index

Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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