The name Cranesbill refers to the long beak-like projection on the seed. It is also known as alum root, which refers to its styptic properties.
Indigenous, cranesbill grows throughout the U.S. It is no relation to the geraniums of our gardens, which belong to the genus pelargonium.
The ROOT is the official part. It should be collected in the autumn. It has an astringent taste without bitterness or other unpleasant flavor. Water and alcohol extracts its virtues.
Cranesbill is considered a popular Indian remedy for various disorders.
Cranesbill is considered one of our most powerful astringents with pleasant tonic properties. The absence of unpleasant taste and all other offensive qualities and its soothing influence renders it peculiarly serviceable in cases of infants or of persons with very delicate stomachs, especially if boiled in milk with a little sugar.
Its chief influence is manifested throughout the alvine mucous membrane.
It is not so strong as oak bark or catechu but is a more powerful astringent than witch hazel. It is a tonic to the whole system; strengthens and invigorates stomach, kidneys, and the whole viscera.
Diarrhea, chronic dysentery, cholera infantum in the latter stages, excessive discharges in typhoid fever, sore mouth or gums, spongy gums, catarrhal ophthalmia, mercurial salivation are some of the diseases in which it is most commonly used to advantage. It is also useful in incontinence of urine.
As an application to indolent ulcers, an injection in gleet and leucorrhea, a gargle in relaxation of the uvula and aphthous ulceration of the throat, or throat irritation, it answers the same purpose as foreign remedies of the same character.
In gastric ulcer combine with golden seal.
A serviceable injection for leucorrhea is made by combining 1/2 oz. ea. of cranesbill and bethroot. Crush the roots and pour on 1 pt. boiling water. Cover until cool enough to use. Inject the clear liquid only. Repeat twice daily. Also good to use for mennorrhagia.
As a styptic, it is excellent for hemorrhages from the nose, lungs, stomach, bowels, or uterus. The Fl. X. may be used for internal or external bleeding.
Cranesbill can be used internally, externally, as injection, or as a wash wherever needed. It may be taken in substance, decoction, tincture, infusion, or Fl X. The dose of the powder is 20 to 30 gr. The decoction is made by boiling 1 oz. root in 3/2pts. water to 1 pt. Dose is 1 to 2 fl. oz. Dose of the Fl X is 1/2 to 1 Dr. The simple infusion is made by steeping 1 t. crushed root in 1 C. boiling water for 1/2 hr. Drink cold 1 or 2 C. daily.