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    Scientific Names

    • Geranium maculatum L.
    • Geraniaceae
    • Geramium family

    Common Names

    ivyAlum root
    ivyAmerican kino root
    ivyAmerican tormentil
    ivySpotted cranesbill
    ivySpotted geranium
    ivyWild cranesbill
    ivyWild dovesfoot
    ivyWild geranium
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    Parts Usually Used

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    Description of Plant(s) and Culture

    Cranesbill is a perennial plant 1-2 feet high with a thick rhizome and long stalked, palmately divided basal leaves; leaves broad, deeply 5-parted, segments toothed. Flowers pink to lavender (rarely white), 5 petaled, bowl shaped, grow in small terminal clusters, on long stalks in the axils of stem leaves; April-June. Fruits are like 5-part beaks, which split into spoon-shaped sections. Distinct “crane’s bill” in the center of the flower enlarges into seedpod. Full sun or partial shade. Zones 3-10. Not heat-tolerant.

    The leaves of cranesbill (wild geranium) are often confused with those of Goldenseal, though cranesbill leaves are not wrinkled and have more deeply cut lobes.
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    Where Found

    Woods, thickets, on shady roadsides, and in meadows. Maine to Georgia; Arkansas, Kansas to Manitoba.
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    Medicinal Properties

    Astringent, styptic, antiseptic
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    Biochemical Information

    Root is tannin rich (10-20%), tannic and gallic acid, starch, sugar, pectin, gum.
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    Useful as an infusion in cholera, diarrhea, and dysentery. Use tea for mouthwash for mouth sores and bleeding gums, and profuse menstrual bleeding, bleeding wounds, nosebleed, bleeding from extracted teeth. The dry powder sprinkled on a wound or cut will stop bleeding immediately. Used for old chronic ulcers. Strong tea solution rubbed on breasts will stop milk flow, rubbed on nipples will harden them. Internally, for piles inject as an enema 2-3 tbsp. of strong tea several times a day, and after each stool. Excellent for mucus and pus in the bladder and intestines, for leukorrhea or mucous discharges from any part of the body. Useful in diabetes or Bright’s disease. Externally, used as a folk cancer remedy.
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    Formulas or Dosages

    Use dried rhizomes (root).

    For mucous discharges, try equal parts golden seal and cranesbill. Use a tsp. of each to a pint of boiling water. Let steep 30 minutes; use this liquid as an injection for piles, as a douche, or take internally, a tbsp. 4-6 times a day. Also, for hemorrhoids, combine finely powdered cranesbill with powdered yarrow. These made into an ointment or bolus by then adding melted coconut butter or vaseline until a doughy consistency is achieved. Roll this mixture into anal suppositories of about the thickness of the middle finger. Insert inch-long pieces into the rectum each evening before retiring.

    For general use, steep 1 heaping tsp. in 1 cup of boiling water 30 minutes. Drink 1 or more cupfuls a day, a large mouthful at a time; children less according to age and weight.
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    Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

    Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

    Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

    Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

    Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

    Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

    Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

    Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

    Buy It! American Folk Medicine/i>, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

    Buy It! Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

    Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

    Buy It! An Instant Guide to Medicinal Plants, by Pamela Forey and Ruth Lindsay, Crescent Books (January 27, 1992).

    Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

    Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature's Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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