plant that we commonly refer to nowadays as the
geranium isn't actually a geranium, but a pelargonium.
The actual geranium plants are the Geranium robertianum
[Herb Robert - British] and the Geranium maculatum
[American Cranesbill - USA], which have been used
since antiquity to treat conditions such as dysentery,
haemorrhoids, diarrhoea, peptic ulcers, inflammations,
metorrhagia and menorrhagia.
Herb Robert [aka 'stinking Bob' because of
its strong odour] grows up to 2 inches tall, with
deeply cleft red-green leaves and bright pink flowers,
and is a useful astringent and a wound healer.
The American Cranesbill is a 2ft perennial
with pink-purple flowers and deeply cleft leaves.
The Native Americans used the roots and the aerial
parts for treating sore throats, mouth ulcers, oral
thrush, and infected gums. As the plants use spread
to Europe, it was used to staunch wounds and was
often prescribed for irritable bowel syndrome [IBS]
! Warning : American Cranesbill should only
be taken for a few weeks at a time !
that' quite enough talk about those two plants,
the one we're here to look at is Pelargonium graveolens
: a pleasantly aromatic perennial shrub, growing
up to 1m tall, with small pink flowers. Oil is extracted
from the leaves by steam distillation - the principal
constituents of the essential oil are citronellol
and geraniol, making it an effective mosquito repellent.
The oil is also used as a remedy for lice.
has anti-depressant, antiseptic, and astringent
properties, it also promotes speedy healing, and
is an adrenal cortex stimulant, making it good for
menopausal problems and all conditions where a fluctuating
hormone balance is indicated.
oil is effective at balancing the production of
sebum, making it ideal for oily complexions, or
congested skin, and is a useful remedy for acne
- although it is equally good for treating mature
skin, and healing broken capillaries. It has been
used for engorgement of the breasts, as well as
treating cellulitis, and is also useful for relieving
PMT, nervous tension, neuralgia, and stress-related