Adaptable species of Cranesbill geranium which is native to a wide range of Northern hemisphere countries including North America, Europe, the Caucasus and Asia. It inhabits woodland and grassland through to alpine as well as coastal sites, prefering a calcareous soil and part shade. It is an annual, sometimes biennial, of upright to prostrate habit, producing small pink flowers from spring through to autumn. Following flowering or when in full sun, the stems and leaves turn reddish-purple.
Herb Robert has been used in the folk medicine of many countries as an antiseptic, and to treat stomach upsets and diarrhea, nosebleeds and toothache as well as to improve functioning of the liver and gallbladder. Its leaves are edible and used by some to make tea. There is some fabulous information about the medicinal uses of this herb on Julia Sich’s Edible Weeds website (which is a gold mine of information – check it out here), reproduced here with her permission:
- carotenoids (which convert to Vitamin A)
- Vitamins B and C
- It is a natural source of germanium which as well as being an oxygen carrier and catalyst, also stimulates electrical impulses at a cellular level, which benefit the entire body according to Isabell Shipard a well known Australian herbalist. She further says that this humble herb has resulted in numerous amazing healings from such illnesses as cancer, colitis, chronic fatigue, cataracts, diabetes, mouth ulcers, bleeding gums and pain relief for those with rheumatism and arthritis. Even animals have been cured of cancer when fed with herb Robert in their food. Dr Otto Warburg, twice Noble Prize winner said in 1966, “The prime cause of cancer is lack of oxygenation of the cells.” He discovered that cancer cells could not exist in the presence of abundant oxygen, but only in an anaerobic state. Because oxygen plays such an important role in cell health and immune function, using Herb Robert regularly, is something very practical we can do, for our general wellbeing.
- In addition, it is an energy giver immune builder which acts as a free radical scavenger, with antibiotic, antiviral and antioxidant properties. Consult your Doctor before using it, if you are on blood thinning medication as it may act on the viscosity of the blood.Herb Robert is easy to grow and a supremely therapeutic plant with all those health giving properties so how do we use it?
Five or more leaves and stems in smoothies, soups, or a tea made by pouring boiling water over a teaspoon of fresh leaves or a pinch of dried leaves would be therapeutic and preventative. Sweeten with honey if you desire.
A foot infusion is said to remove toxins, heavy metals and prevent radiation damage, so would be of benefit to those using mobile phones, computers, microwaves or having x-rays, which pretty much means all of us! To make a foot infusion put a handful of chopped herb Robert in a bowl and pour a litre of boiling water over it stirring well. Add enough cold water to make it comfortable and soak your feet for 15 blissful minutes
Julia also suggests that as the leaves are quite pungent they can also be crushed and rubbed on the skin as an insect repellent, or added to pet or chook bedding to repel fleas. Because of their strong scent they can also be used as a companion plant amongst your veges.
Herb Robert is a foodplant and nectar-source for many invertebrates including bees and hoverflies.
Herb Robert has explosive seed pods and self seeds happily however plant roots are shallow and plants are easily pulled out if not required. Do your weeding at dusk and repel the mossies as you work!
Established plant in 9cm pot. Certified organic.