Cranesbill—Balancing Medicine


imagesThis week, I searched online to find the identity of a plant that grows everywhere in my yard. I’ve been told by three gardeners that this is a weed, but no one could tell me what it was. I finally identified the fern-like, red and green foliage as Herb Robert, sometimes called cranesbill. This plant has a funny smell, and the slugs and bugs want nothing to do with it. I read that deer avoid it, too. And I suspected that it might just be a medicinal or nutritional powerhouse, as many “weeds” are…

Turns out, this is exactly the case. Herb Robert is a very old healing herb, well known in Europe. It makes a mild and healing tea, and is a great salad green, and is a plant rich in germanium—a well-known antioxidant and blood oxygenator. Looking up the herb online I found this:

Germanium’s remarkable effects on the immune system are well known in medical fields. It has a good reputation as an energy giver, immune builder, and as a powerful therapeutic and preventative, and also as a vigorous adaptogen, acting to rebalance minor or major health imbalances in the body. (therapy

images-1For many years, I have worked with the energy of animal helping spirits and allies. In the past few years, I realize I have been opening my consciousness to include plant allies. I find little difference between the two. Both plants and animals have  personalities, strengths, gifts, and mysteries. Both make powerful friends and mentors. Both have their biological reality as well as their spiritual and symbolic reality. I find myself treating the plants in my yard as I do my animal companions and visitors. I talk to them all, I provide water and food for all. I treasure the company of them all. And I pray each day for them all. Building community—something very important to me in my new home—is not just about meeting people. Some days, I just want to sit with the hostas for awhile and breathe.


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