Identifying: Grows from 1 to 2 feet tall, flowering from April to June with rosy pink to purply five-petal blooms. The leaves are deeply parted with each part containing toothed segments. Fruit is a small capsule which is divided into five cells, each containing a seed. When these fruits dry, they open up like a crane’s bill allowing the seed to fall out, hence the plant’s common name.
Parts Used: Rhizome and leaves
Medicinal Use: The root is highly astringent and rich in tannins; especially tannin rich in spring roots prior to flowering. Anti-inflammatory, astringent, vulnerary, anti-haemorrhagic. It’s been used to stop bleeding, diarrhea, dysentery; relieves piles, gum diseases; powdered root may be applied to canker sores. Good for kidney and stomach ailments; diuretic. Has been used externally as a fold cancer remedy. Used for excessive blood loss during menses or in the case of a uterine haemorrhage. (Should only be used thusly by a professional.)
Preparation: Rhizome should be dug up in September or October, cut in pieces, and dried. As a tonic, can be infused. As a decoction, use 1 – 2 tsp. dried rhizome in a cup of cold water. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Use 3x daily. Can also be taken as a tincture, 2 – 4 ml. 3x daily.
Allergic Reactions/Warnings: None known. Gentle and effective astringent.
Note: These posts are not meant to be a medical guide but an overview. Consulting an herbal specialist is always recommended.