American Cranesbill Root, also known as American Cranesbill, Spotted Cranesbill, Spotted Geranium, Alumroot, Alum Bloom, Wild Geranium, Storksbill, Chocolate Flower, & Crowfoot is full of tannins, gallic acid and pectins.
The European species wood cranesbill (Geranium sylvaticum) and herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) are also used.
History and Uses of American Cranesbill Root:-
First Nationals (the modern term for native Americans) were familiar with this plant using it to help with conditions like lower bowel disorders but also as an eye wash and a poultice. It is still used for such conditions but also for mouth ulcers and sore throats. Its high tannin content means that it is astringent and therefore of benefit when treating haemorrhoids and internal bleeding so it has been used for IBS and menstrual conditions in addition to the above.
European settlers used it for everything with limited success one assumes.
The roots of the plant are between two and four inches long and are very thick. They have numerous branches and are brown as you would expect but whitish internally when broken and fresh turning to a dark purple when dried. The plant should be collected just befote it flowers as this is when it contains the most tannns.