European And American Herbal Medicine

Modern Ayurveda

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Geranium maculatum L.

The species most commonly used worldwide is probably G. maculatum L., variously known as American cranesbill, storksbill, spotted cranesbill, crowfoot and others. This species is found in shady and moist ground throughout the whole of Europe and in North America from Newfoundland to Manitoba and as far south as Missouri. Both the rhizome and the herb have been used for medicinal purposes since antiquity to treat fever, including malaria, abdominal and uterine disorders, inflammation and as an external application for wounds, excessive bleeding, and sores. Internally it was used as a styptic for metrorrhagia, menorrhagia, haematuria and haemorrhoids; and particularly for diarrhoea, peptic and duodenal ulcers and dysentery. These are still the most important indications. In the middle ages, Paracelsus described it as having cardiotonic and antidepressive activity, and there are other uses for which Geranium has been suggested, including worms, leucorrhoea and as a mouthwash (Brendler etal, 1999).

Table 7.1 Species of Geranium used medicinally

Geranium sp.

Local names


Internal use

External use


G. aconitifolium



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