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Geranium (Geranium spp.)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 3-Beta-caffeoyl-12-oleanen-28-oic acid, A-type proanthocyanidins, baby keeper cream, catechins, citronellol, citrosa plant, condensed tannins, cranesbill, epiafzelechin-(4beta-->8,2beta-->O-->7)-afzelechin (geranin A), epicatechin-(4beta-->8,2beta-->O-->7)-afzelechin (geranin B), flavonoids, Geraniaceae, Geranium incanum Burm., Geranium maculatum, Geranium nepalense, Geranium nepalense Sweet, Geranium niveum, geranium oil, Geranium robertianum, Geranium sanguineum L., Geranium sibiricum Linné, Geranium strictipes, Geranium sylvaticum, Geranium thunbergii Siebold ex Lindl. & Paxton,Geranium thunbergii, Geranium wallichianum, Geranium wallichianum D.Don ex Sweet, hyperin, isomenthone, linalool, mahuannin B, methyl gallate, plant volatile oils, polyphenolic acid, polyphenolic complex PC, proanthocyanidins, reynoutrin, rose geranium.
  • Note: Geranium is the common name for two genera, Geranium and Pelargonium, both of which are used as herbal supplements. This monograph discusses evidence regarding the use of the Geranium genus. However, many published papers do not mention genus of geranium used, which increases confusion in the field. A number of preclinical and clinical trials have studied the effects of Pelargonium (1;2;3;4;5;6;7).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • The genus Geranium includes 422 species of flowering plants found in temperate regions and mountainous regions in the tropics. The name "cranesbill" derives from the appearance of the seed heads, which have the same shape as the bill of a crane. The common name geranium is also used to refer to the genus Pelargonium, which is the form commonly used as bedding plants. The two species can be differentiated by their flowers, with Geranium having symmetrical flowers and Pelargonium having irregular petals. The subject of this monograph is the Geranium species.
  • Historically, all parts of the Geranium plant were used by Native Americans to treat various disorders, including diarrhea, excessive bleeding, and inflammatory disorders. It has also been used in perfumery and soap making.
  • Recent research has focused on the antimicrobial properties of Geranium spp. in vitro. In limited human research, geranium oil has been studied as a mosquito repellant. Results are conflicting, and it is not clear if the species used was Geranium.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.