Geranium health benefits and therapeutic value

Geranium is an ornamental plant that also offers many health benefits and soothes pains that ail the body.

Robert geranium, Herb-Robert or Geranium robertianum is an annual or biennial usually found in hedges and in vacant lots.

This geranium grows 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) tall, is native to France and Europe and belongs to the Geraniaceae family.

Robert geranium, a short story

Robert geranium was praised by a XVIIth century doctor called Sennert.

According to him, this geranium was a cure against infertility and uterus cancer.

Health benefits of Herb-Robert and impact on the body

  • Do you suffer from diarrhea or uterine hemorrhage? Geranium, which is both astringent and antispasmodic, can sooth your pain.
  • Added benefit: geranium is said to be an anti-diabetic in that it reduces blood sugar levels.
  • Topical uses of geranium include gargling against sore throat and swelling of the tonsils, lotions for eye pain, occasional poultices to treat milk-engorged breasts and to boost healing of wounds.
  • Chopped fresh leaves also sooth skin rashes and heal wounds and cuts.

Did you know…?

> Ingestion:

Geranium infusion – About ¾ to 1 oz (25 g) of flower bud tips or 1 to 1 ½ oz (40 to 50 g) dried plant parts for 1 quart (1 liter) boiled water. Let it steep for 20 minutes and drink 3 or 4 cups a day. In case of diarrhea or anti-diabetic use.

>External use:

Gargling geranium – against sore throat, you can use the same infusion (or a decoction that would be slightly more concentrated) to gargle.

Geranium poultices – apply the sap against wounds or prepare a poultice from the crushed plant.

Robert geranium essential oil has antiseptic properties.

Growing Robert geranium for its health benefits

Geranium is planted in the shade or part sun in well drained soil, loaded with humus, even if it is dry and poor.

Where the word “Geranium” comes from

The word “geranium” comes from the latin root ruber, which means “red”, because the leaves of this delicate geranium variety turn to red at the end of the season.

Moreover, this plant has a rather unpleasant fragrance, which led it to be called “Stinking Bob” in England – Bob being short for Robert.

As for the genus, it comes from the ancient Greek word geranos, “crane”, since geranium fruits look like the long beak of that bird.

Actually, the geraniums that often dress up our balconies are pelargoniums, from the Greek word pelargos which means “stork” for the same reason.

What about potted Robert geranium?

Growing geraniums in pots is perfectly possible…

Watch out for small bugs!

Nothing special to signal about that here. Geraniums are spared by all enemies and diseases.

Blandine Merlin