Herb Robert (Geranium Robertian)
Also known as Red Robin, stinking bob, Death come quickly, Storksbill, Dove’s Foot, Crow’s Foot, Fox Geranium, felonwort, bloodwort or Robert Geranium. Is a geranium in the Cranesbill family.
This plant always draws me to its being by the way it so often grows from the cracks in cement, in walls, amongst rocks and in transitional areas. Hope forms when I see these green and red stems, beautiful shaped leaves and its daring pink flower showing its strength and will and bloody mindedness to not only grow but to thrive and shine where many couldn’t.
I call this plant the Marmite plant due to the fact many (like me) love its strong Parsley-like flavour while others find it musty, bitter, drying and overpowering, but the reaction to it is nearly always a strong love or a strong dislike separating my foraging groups instantly. It has a distinctive smell a bit like parsley and celery combined (but your nose may pick up something I haven’t) again some people hate this smell and describe it as very stinky and offensive where as for me I quite like it.
Herb Robert is abundant in forests, garden walls, hedgerows and wilder edges and other types of plants like to grow next to it, probably down to the fact it is a natural insect repellant among other things.
As a food Herb Robert is much loved by me as a beautiful edible. Full of vitamin B and C and a good source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron. I love to use it much like other wild greens; in salads, pestos, sauces, pates etc.
When I first discovered this plant in Spring I was delighted and amazed that I could eat something so abundant and literally coming out of every crack I looked at in my garden. This green healing herb is lovely mixed with Sorrel, Wild Garlic, Jack by the Hedge, Pink Purslane and Horseradish leaves in a punchy flavoursome salad with a wild herbal vingar, salt and a glug of oil.
As a medicine this plant has many many wonderful benefits to really help the body.
It’s a free radical scavenger with strong antioxidant properties, boosting the immune system. It is full of a component that is called Germanium which is an oxygen carrier and catalyst, stimulating the body at a cellular level, making oxygen more readily available to the cells in your body.
Having oxygen in the body plays a very important part in cell health and for a healthy functioning immune system, giving the body more opportunity to fight disease, repair, be well, feel alive and wholesome. If you have a lack of oxygen available to the cells, which can be caused by many things in the body such as free radicals and toxins, this then causes the cells to not have enough nutrients to regenerate, repair and heal.
This humble and abundant herb is a great one to have regularly in your diet as a practical way to help general wellbeing and will enhance the body and really really help your immune system.
I have read and have been told first hand of many cases in which Herb Robert has resulted in helping many with serious illnesses such as cancer, especially bowel cancer. It has been shown that cancer cells cannot survive in oxygenated environments so finding these kind of herbs that can help your body strengthen on a cell level is an important part of staying healthy, but I would get them in your diet now, dont wait until trouble knocks at the door, prevention is the greatest cure.
A wonderful way to have this plant is in a foot bath to help rid your system of toxins, heavy metals. This would be of benefit to those who use computers, mobile phones, microwaves or are having x-rays which is a vast majority of people! To have a foot bath with this herb put a handful of the plant into a bowl that your feet can fit into, boil about a litre of water and then add it to the bowl stirring the herb with the water. After a small time of infusing (about 20mins) check temperature and add cold if needed or more hot if its cooled too much. Sit back relax and let your feet be loved for 20 mins or so, enjoy, pamper, relax and read, or sit outside doing this under the stars!
I also Love to have ￼a tea/infusion with this herb using a teaspoon of fresh herb per cup having about three cups a day. Put the herb into a container with a lid, let it infuse over night with the lid on, in the morning take the plant material out and drink throughout the day. I like to add Nettle, Cleavers or Mint to it. I also like to add this musty one to my seasonal vinegars.
This is definitely a plant to get to know, but be careful because the leaves can look a little like hemlock (deadly poisonous). I myself very often find Hemlock and Herb Robert to be intwined together as very happy bedfellows.
If you are unsure find the plant when it has its little pink flower, but like all foraging take your time, get to know plants one at a time and don’t pick it and use it until you are absolutely 100% sure of what it is. Get to know them slowly, know them like you would a lover; by their smell, their feel, where they hang out, the energy they carry, the colour of their flesh and who their friends are.
Best not to be used if you are on blood thinning medication, consult a professional first