Geranium Tea

Asked March 6, 2015, 10:20 PM EST

I read about the medicinal benefits of geranium tea. What variety(ies) of Geranium is used to make geranium tea? Are there any varieties of geranium that are toxic if used to make tea?

Ventura County California

2 Responses

Wild geraniums have the genus Geranium, the houseplants grown as geraniums which come in all sorts of varieties are genus Pelargonium. Wild geranium, Geranuim maculatum contains tannins and has been used for years to reduce inflammation and stop bleeding, it is toxic to neither humans nor animals. Pelargoniums have also been used medicinally. P. sidoides and P. reniforme are marketed as Umckaloaba or Zucol for bronchitis and pharyngitis. P. graveolens leaves are used topically topically for scabies and other inflammations, this is the rose scented geranium which is often used to make tea which is said to be relaxing. The mosquito plant, P. citrosum has been shown not to actually repel mosquitos but is being looked at as an antiviral medication. All of the pelargoniums, but not the wild geraniums, contain geraniol and linalool both of which have antibiotic capabilities and have some bug repellent actions. They can cause rashes to people who have allergies to them and have been shown to be toxic to dogs and cats; but I can find no reported toxicity to humans.

Hi Vicki, Thank you so much for your response to my question on the variety of Geranium used to make Geranium tea. Your response not only answered my question but provide insightful information on the various genera of Geranium. I find Geraniums to be a very interesting and beautiful plant with its various leaf structures and colorful flowers. The fact that it is one of the easiest plants to propagate also makes it a fun plant. I appreciate all of the information you provided. It gives me more in depth knowledge to further investigate this marvelous plant. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. John S