Storksbill weed is a humble plant highly appreciated as forage for cattle.
Storksbill Weed Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name – Geranium cicutarium L.
- Other Names – Alfilaria, pin clover.
- French – Epingle de pasteur.
- Spanish – Alfilerillo de pastor.
- Environment – Native to the Mediterranean region, now widely spread throughout the Americas, it grows on dry, sandy soils.
- Description – Herbaceous plant of the Geraniaceae family, small in size (it grows from 30 to 40 cm high) and finely cut leaves. Its flowers are purple or pink, and its fruit ends in a large thorn (2-4 cm) similar to a needle or pin, which gives the plant some of its common names.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally – The whole plant, when fresh, and the leaves.
Storksbill weed contains tannins, phenol, flavonoids, and potassium salts.
- Hemostatic – Its most outstanding property. It acts mainly on the uterus (womb); hence it is successfully used to stop uterine bleeding (metrorrhagia) and stop excessive menstruation.
- Mild diuretic and anti-inflammatory – It is used for nephritis and antispasmodic for urinary colic.
- Astringent and vulnerary – It helps heal wounds, sores, and skin ulcerations in external applications.
How to use Storksbill Weed
- Fresh plant juice obtained by mashing 30 to 60 grams of the plant either manually or in an electric blender. Drink two or three cups per day. Juice must be taken when fresh, and it can be sweetened with brown sugar, molasses, or honey.
- Compresses – Apply on the affected area some 50 grams of mashed leaves.
Storksbill weed grows together with musk weed (Erodium moschatum L’Herit.), a similar species also called musk geranium, though it shares several common names with storksbill (Erodium cicutarium). Both plants are identical to Herb Robert.
Musk geranium owes its name to the strong musk aroma it gives. Its LEAVES, more significant than those of storksbill, are consumed as vegetables and also used as forage for cattle.
From a medicinal standpoint, the leaves and the rhizome are the parts of the plant used, and their properties are pretty similar to those of storksbill.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 631. Print.