Wild Geranium is valued as a useful astringent and hemostatic. The roots contain large amounts of tannin, which is a bitter-tasting polyphenol produced by the plant. Polyphenols bind and precipitate proteins explaining its properties as both an astringent and styptic. When applied topically, an astringent binds to the mucous membrane causing it to constrict or shrink. This process serves the dual purpose of both protecting the area to which it was applied and promoting healing. A hemostatic is any agent that stops bleeding through mild coagulation of skin proteins.
Early Native Americans recognized the value of Wild Geranium and used it as an ingredient in many medicinal treatments. Chippewa Indians used dried, powdered rhizomes mixed with grape juice as a mouthwash for children with thrush. A poultice from the base or pounded roots of the plant was used to treat burns and hemorrhoids. The leaves and roots were used to treat sore throats, hemorrhages, gonorrhea, and cholera. Like many other tannin-containing substances, Native Americans also used Wild Geranium as an anti-diarrhea treatment. A plant- infused tea was made to achieve this purpose, though some sources say the tea could have had the opposite effect, causing constipation.
Today, this wildflower is used for many of the same purposes. Wild Geranium extract is marketed as an anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhaging substance. It can be found in products sold in herbal stores and online.
The Iroquois Indians believed that Wild Geranium could counteract a love charm. A root-infused tea was placed near the person believed to be afflicted by a love potion against their will.”
info from St. Olaf College Minnesota… http://www.stolaf.edu/academics/naturallands/woodlands/ephemerals/wild-geranium.html