Plant Family: Geraniaceae (Geranium)
Botanical Name: Geranium maculatum
Alternative Name: Spotted Geranium
Blooms: April – May
Location in Garden: MacNider North and South (2007 – present)
Medicinal Uses: Wild Geranium has been used medicinally by Native Americans to treat diarrhea and various mouth ailments. Powdered preparations were used to treat open sores or wounds. Historically, geranium was also used in folk medicine to stop abnormal bleeding, including that related to menstruation and uterine problems. It may be applied topically to help treat hemorrhoids. It can also be used as an antiseptic and can be applied externally for issues involving pus, discharge and many inflammations. A root infusion is used as a mouthwash for ulcers and throat infections. It is also used internally for diarrhea, stomach ulcers, internal bleeding, and externally for hemorrhoids, and may help diabetics.
Folklore: A tea of wild geranium flowers is an effective counter to many love spells. A small amount of the root can be carried as an amulet to attract happiness and prosperity. It can also be used in spells to encourage conception, successful pregnancy and childbirth. The Wild Geranium rhizome is rich in tannin and was used by early American settlers to tan hides. The root can be carried as an amulet to attract happiness and prosperity. It can also be used in spells to encourage conception, successful pregnancy and safe childbirth. Native Americans used this herb to treat many medical conditions including dysentery and diarrhea. It was used as eye wash and the powdered root, often mixed with other herbs, was used as a compress on wounds and swollen feet.