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Geranium Oil

 

Synonyms: Bloodwort, Fox Geranium, Herb Robert, Red Robin

 

Herb Robert - an annual herb growing up to 24 inches tall, with a reddish branched stem that is sticky and hairy. The leaves are palmately divided, with light green, purple-edged leaflets. Flowers (May-October) have five pink petals and five purple sepals. The seeds are ejected by a sudden opening of the pods, which are shaped like cranes' bills. Herb Robert has a strong disagreeable scent when handled.

 

Geranium Essential OilThe roster of the various names of herb Robert gives a vivid picture of the plant. Herb Robert is a member of the geranium family, whose name derives from Greek geranos, "crane," because the seedpods are shaped like cranes' bills. The common name comes from Medieval Latin herba Roberti, but just which Robertus was meant remains a mystery. Leading candidates are St. Robert of Molesme (died 1110), a French monk; Robert, duke of Normandy (died 1134); or St. Rupert of Salzburg (died c. 718), a Bavarian ecclesiastic. St. Rupert was long invoked in cases of erysipelas, a painful skin disease, and some claim it was he who discovered the herb's power to stem bleeding-referred to in the alternative name bloodwort. Because of herb Robert's reputed efficacy in treating felons (inflammations near fingernails or toenails), herb Robert was called felonwort. The names fox geranium and red robin probably refer to the plant's reddish flowers.

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Herb Robert's main usefulness is as an externally applied astringent for skin irritations and bruises. From medieval times onward, a compress made from the whole plant served to heal wounds and help stop bleeding. Today the plant's popularity has declined.

 

Geranium Oil Specification

 

Botanical Name

Pelargonium Bourbon

Extraction Method

Steam distillation

Part Used

woods and leaves.

Appearance

Colorless to pale yellow liquid

Specific Gravity

0.880 0.899 @ 20C

Refractive Index

1.461 1.469 @ 20C

Optical Rotation

-30.0 -7.0 @ 20C

Solubility

Soluble in alcohol and oils. Insoluble in water.

 

HOW MUCH TO TAKE
An infusion of two teaspoons (dried herb) or one teaspoon (dry root). Herb Robert is also used in homeopathy, mostly at a potency of D1. Extracts of both herb Robert and American cranesbill are included in tablets and tinctures.

 

USES
Herb Robert is rarely used in contemporary European herbal medicine. Herb Robert is occasionally employed in much the same way as American cranesbill (G. maculatum), as an astringent and wound healer. The herb bears closer investigation as a remedy. According to one authority, herb Robert is also effective against stomach ulcers and inflammation of the uterus, and it has potential as a treatment for cancer.

 

HABITAT AND CULTIVATION
Native to Europe and Asia, herb Robert is naturalized in North America. Herb Robert is gathered in summer.

 

CONSTITUENTS
Herb Robert contains tannins, a bitter principle (geraniin), traces of volatile oil, and citric acid.

 

SIDE EFFECTS AND CAUTIONS
Severe diarrhea (especially in children) is dangerous due to the risk of dehydration and should be treated by a health care professional.

   

 

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