Wildflowers, Plants and Ferns, Pacific Northwest
Herb Robert is a annual plant that grows to 40 cm tall, the stems branch in many directions and may turn red in color. The leaves are green and about 6cm long and are palmate in shape, deeply cut, and often tinged with colors of pink, red or bronze. Stems and leaves are covered with very fine hairs.
Tiny, bright pink flowers adorn the plant, they are about 15 mm across and have five rounded petals. Each petal has 3 streaks of white, starting at the center and phasing out along the petal. Flowers develop, in groups of 2 or 4, at leaf axils. Following the flowers, the base of the blossom quickly fills out and develops into the oval seed receptacle, 17 mm long and when mature, looks like a bird’s beak, which is why the plant has been given the common names storkbill or cranesbill.
As the seeds dry off, nature has a way of dispersing them by opening the beak and ejecting them with a sudden springing action, flinging the 5 small, oval seeds in five directions, ensuring that there will be future generations of the plant, for mankind’s use. I believe this plant should be in every garden, ready for service.
Herb Robert is a therapeutic herb, although, very little information is available on the constituents, this herb’s action is one of the best herbs that can be use regularly, as boost to the immune system. Research has revealed that herb robert is a source of germanium, a valuable element to the body, as it has the ability to make oxygen available to the cells. With more oxygen being received at the cell level, means the body has the opportunity to fight disease by its own powers and healing can take place quickly. Germanium not only works as an oxygen carrier and catalyst, but also stimulates electrical impulses, at a cellular level, which has a beneficial ripple effect throughout the whole body. Germanium’s remarkable effects on the immune system have been documented in medical journals as an immune system booster.
Before using, remove any developing fruit. For an infusion, steep 1 level tbsp. dried herb in 1 cup water for a short time. Take 1 cup per day. For a cold extract, use 2 tsp. dried herb with 1 cup cold water. Let stand for 8-10 hours in a covered pot and for wounds, You can crush the leaves and apply as a compress to promote healing and provide pain relieve.