Geranium robertianum, also known as Robert geranium and herb Robert, is a flowering plant that blooms annually or biennially. It is highly adaptable: the geranium thrives in damp canopied forests, open prairies, and on arid rocky outcroppings across Asia, Europe, North Africa, and North America. Geranium robertianum has earthy-smelling flowers with five small pale pink petals each. Its light green, fernlike leaves are slightly noxious when crushed and inspire the plant’s affectionate nickname, Stinky Bob.

Chemically speaking, Geranium robertianum contains Vitamins A, B, and C; the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium; malic acid; tannins; and phenols with antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It also contains germanium, a unique mineral with clinically proven effects on the immune system. Germanium also works as an antioxidant, an electro-stimulant, and an oxygen catalyst.

The leaves and petals of Geranium robertianum have been prized in both modern conventional and traditional medicinal practices. Modern medicine has documented the effectiveness of full-plant infusions at boosting the immune system. Traditionally and in modern alternative medicine, Robert geranium tinctures, teas, and salves made from the entire plant (minus its shallow root system) have been used to treat and prevent conditions as serious as cancer and for other physiological and psychological conditions. Among the physiological conditions are many skin irritations, as the plant is known to promote circulation, fight infection, and help eliminate toxins. It is used as an astringent, as a topical antimicrobial, and to treat boils and pustules. Because it promotes circulation, it may also be effective in fighting serious headaches and promoting lymphatic well-being. Herb Robert can also be taken for digestive ailments such as ulcers and for general inflammation of the digestive tract. Psychologically, it is used to treat emotional shock both immediately after a shock has occurred and in its long-term aftermath.