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Storksbill


    Scientific Names

    Storksbill
    • Alfilaria
    • Heronís bill
    • Pin clover
    • Red-stem filaree

    Common Names

    ivyAlfilaria
    ivyHeronís bill
    ivyPin clover
    ivyRed-stem filaree
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    Parts Usually Used

    The leaves
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    Description of Plant(s) and Culture

    Storksbill is an annual plant, 3 to 12 inches high; the slender, fern-like, hairy, reddish, decumbent stem bears pinnate leaves which, like those of the basal rosette, have sessile, oblong or ovate-oblong leaflets which themselves are pinnatifid into narrow, often toothed lobes. The basal leaves survive through the winter. The purple or pink, geranium-like, 5 petaled, flowers, less than 1/2 inch long, bloom from early spring to late fall. The sepals are terminated by 1 or 2 white, bristle-like hairs which give the plant its name. Seeds are smooth, elongated, and sharp, like a storkís bill.

    Another plant: The plant (Geranium maculatum) is called storksbill but has no relation to Erodium cicutarium.
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    Where Found

    Native to the Mediterranean region and widely naturalized in dry and sandy soils, waste places of the eastern, southwestern, and western United States, where it is often grown for hay.
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    Medicinal Properties

    Astringent, hemostatic
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    Legends, Myths and Stories

    The alum root (Geranium maculatum) is also called storksbill, among other common names.
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    Uses

    It has been used primarily against bloody discharges from the uterus and to treat difficult or excessive menstruations. Small doses are said to raise blood pressure, and larger doses lower it. Seed poultice is used for gouty tophus. Leaves soaked in water are put in bath water for rheumatic patients.
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    Formulas or Dosages

    Storksbill will not keep long in storage. It is generally used in concentrated preparations.
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    Nutrient Content

    Niacin, vitamin K
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    Bibliography

    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 Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

    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

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