Herb Robert Leaf

Herb Robert is plant. It has an unpleasant odor, so it is sometimes called “Stinky Bob.” The leaves, stems, and flowers are used to make medicine.

Herb Robert is used for diarrhea; to improve functioning of the liver and gallbladder; to reduce swelling (inflammation) of the kidney, bladder, and gallbladder; and to prevent the formation of stones in the kidney, bladder, or gallbladder.

Some people use Herb Robert as a mouthwash or gargle. The fresh leaves are chewed to relieve sore mouth and throat.

It is also applied to the skin for mosquito bites, parasites, herpes, arthritis, and sciatica.

Treating diarrhea.
Improving liver and gallbladder function.
Reducing swelling of the kidney, bladder, and gallbladder.
Preventing formation of stones in the kidney, bladder, or gallbladder.
Treating sore mouth and throat, when the fresh leaves are chewed.

Benefits of Herb Robert
Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Power
Some of the most notable benefits of this herb are the anti-inflammatory activities and antioxidants that it offers. Traditionally, one use was as a toothache remedy, for example. This demonstrates how it could reduce inflammation and possibly scavenge free radicals involved in cellular damage, depending on the cause.

A scientific study conducted in Portugal – where the herb has been used for a long time – found rather impressive results (^). 3 common free radicals used in plant studies were effectively reduced by both leaf and stem extracts of the plant. This includes the hydroxyl radical OH˙, which has been linked to many harmful conditions and diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, and atherosclerosis (^). Interestingly, it also reduced lipid peroxidation (which is related to harmful TRANS fats and cell damage), and ferric acid (which actually forms OH˙)!

Nitric Oxide as A (Beneficial) Free-Radical
Nitric oxide is one of the most well-known free radicals. However, it is an important part of our life as an aerobic species, and having too little (or too much) can have negative health effects. Simply, it plays important beneficial roles in cell signalling for many biological processes.

Most notably it is a vasodilator, which means that it relaxes arteries and blood vessels, allowing them to widen. This boosts blood flow throughout the body, this is particularly important for those who are active. Nitric oxide is essential for healthy metabolism and free-radical regulation, too (^)!

Herb Robert leaf and stem extracts both scavenged amounts of this free-radical in chemical models. When there are excess amounts in the body, for example possibly in low blood pressure when standing (orthostatic hypotension), this might be beneficial (^).

As we can see, one of the great reasons for Herb Robert’s health benefits is its ability to scavenge free radicals from our body. This reduces levels of inflammation and how to prevent numerous diseases, including those that chronic inflammation is responsible for.

Regular consumption could therefore help to enhance immune system function, too.

Herb Robert benefits health for another great reason because it directly supports our immunity. It has powerful components which give it the ability to fight unwelcome bacteria and prevent illness.

A 2017 study conducted in Wrocław, Poland, tested Herb Robert essential oil against several types of bacteria (^). These included pathogens that infect humans, plants, and animals.

The results of the study help us understand the historical uses of the herb against certain infections. Most significantly, they showed that the oil from Herb Robert leaf could kill and inhibit all types of bacteria tested.

Types of Bacteria
You’ve probably heard of E. coli, which is a serious infectious bacteria most often coming from unsanitary food sources. Another common type is Staphylococcus aureus, known to cause skin and respiratory infections (dubbed “staph infections”). In a concentration range of 5 to 10 mg/mL (oil / distilled water), the oil showed significant antimicrobial actions against these.

Another effective bacteria is Streptococcus mutans, which you probably haven’t heard of directly, but can cause tooth decay. Here is a list of other bacteria tested:

Streptococcus (S.)
Bacillus (B.)

Pectobacterium (P.)

If you want to know how it does this, Herb Robert contains beneficial phenolic acids, oils, vitamins, flavonoids, and tannins! These help to make the essential oil and the herb antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic. Interestingly, they may explain its light, slightly bitter flavour, too!

Could Lower Blood Pressure
The aerial parts of this plant, including the leaves, flowers, and stems, could also help to to combat hypertension. Hypertension is a state of high blood pressure, and the effects that lower this pressure are described as antihypertensive.

For many years and even today, people have used this plant in herbal and folk medicine to treat hypertension.

There is limited scientific data on this topic, despite several citations of being used for this purpose. Research articles have commented on its effect on blood pressure (^)(^), and an interesting article from herbsarespecial.com mentions are being an adaptogen (^). This means that it helps to regulate and balance natural physiological processes, which could benefit blood pressure imbalances.

Furthermore, germanium, a trace element found in this plant may add to this effect. (We’ll discuss this more later).

It would appear, therefore, that one of the potential benefits of Herb Robert is a natural reduction of hypertension.

Herb Robert Health Benefits – Banner in front of plants, reduce hypertension
Supports The Gallbladder, Urogenital Tract, and Sinuses
These are some of the herb robert health benefits that are closely interlinked. It reduces inflammation, improves metabolism, and helps with organ function of the gallbladder and urogentical system.

A meta-analysis on how the human microbiome (beneficial and functional bacteria) affects metabolism mentions multiple traditional uses of Geranium robertianum (^). In particular, it is used to treat inflammatory conditions of the gallbladder and urogenital tract. When made into tea, the herb is also a recommended treatment of sinus diseases.

How Does It Work?
Remember how I mentioned tannins being present in this herb? Well, ellagitannins are one such type, that the gut microbiome benefits from. When we consume these polyphenols, bacteria metabolizes into urolithins. These in turn have beneficial effects which fight inflammation, and thus help to prevent illness.

In general, ellagitannins and their metabolites (such as urolithins) are not absorbed very well. In other words, they have poor bioavailability. However, it would appear that in Herb Robert this bioavailability is increased!

Urolithins benefit the gallbladder and urogenital system possibly due to the fact that they accumulate in those areas the most. Additionally, one way that the urinary bladder and tract benefits is due to the diuretic properties of the herb. This can help to detoxify the body.

What About Germanium?
If you read about the herbal and traditional uses of this herb, you’ll no doubt come across people speaking about germanium. This is a mineral found in some plant sources like garlic, ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, and aloe. We also find it in the minerals germanite and argyrodite.

There are organic and inorganic types. Inorganic germanium is highly toxic, whereas organic germanium types (such as from food sources) is safer and beneficial (^).

At the same time, there are many heatlh claims related to this mineral, which include:

Boosts Energy
Improves Immunity
It’s Adaptogenic
Fights Cancer
Supports Heart Health
Reduces Inflammation
Some of the benefits of Herb Robert could be because of organic germanium.

Research and studies do support some of these, whereas some research does not support certain benefits or is lacking. Research I have found demonstrates:

Immunity and Vitamin E
One study showed impressive genetic effects, increasing genetic expression in hepatic cells (^). This activated immune functions, improved lipid cycle (metabolism of fat), and significantly increased Vitamin E by upregulating proteins (α-tocopherol transfer protein) which transport it into lipoproteins to be delivered around the body! This also helps to fight free radicals and support your immunity.

These Herb Robert health benefits add to how it is useful for improving overall health.

Digestion, Gut Flora (Microbiome), and Colon Cancer
However, another study throws something new into the mix. It turns out that organic Germanium elevates the levels of an enzyme known as beta-glucuronidase.

Increased levels of this enzyme was considered to be a prime factor in colon cancer formation in a study conducted in South Korea (^). This suggests that high amounts of organinc Germanium (Ge-132) alone could increase the chance of colon cancer.

However, a diet containing more raffinose alongside this had significant beneficial effects (^). Raffinose is a family of carbohydrates found most abundantly in beans. Other sources include broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, whole grains, and other vegetables.

In rat studies, a diet of 5% raffinose and 0.05% germanium eliminated the increase in beta-glucuronidase, and greatly increased levels of Bifidobacterium and to a lesser extent Lactobacillus bacteria in the microbiome. These bacteria are vital for a healthy digestive system, helping to digest fibre, produce vitamins, absorb nutrients, and prevent infection. This increase also explains the possible effect of softened stool caused by raffinose and germanium.

Note on Dietary Amounts:
A diet too high in raffinose carbohydrates can cause flatulence and discomfort, as we do not contain the enzymes to digest then so they are instead fermented by gut bacteria. For most people with a healthy gut microbiome this shouldn’t be problematic, but if you have any digestive issues, do what works for you.

Raffinose – a member of the raffinose family – will break down at 118° Celsius (^), so thoroughly cooking food can reduce the content. Additionally, properly soaking beans can greatly reduce the percentage, making them edible.

Raffinose + Germanium – plants, green beans, beans showing how herb robert Benefits health
Cancer Prevention and Detoxing The Blood and Body
Germanium is often recognised as an “oxygen carrier”. Research has shown that it helps to free the body’s supply of oxygen and enrich our supply. The therapeutic effect nourishes the blood with oxygen, which in turn can better deliver oxygen around the body (^).

It is known that cancer can only exist in an oxygen-deprived environment, which means that germanium may help to prevent cancer by regulating healthy levels of oxygen throughout the body! In other words, it helps to prevent oxygen deficiency that could lead to cancer formation.

Multiple other studies also support anticancer properties of germanium. For an example, one other research article mentioned Sanumgerman (a germanium compound) as a safe candidate for reducing oxidative stress and killing cancer cells (^)! Another study on 6 women with ovarian tumours showed that sanumgerman signficantly improved well-being and reduced pain, without any toxic or side effects (^).

“The prime cause of cancer is lack of oxygenation of the cells.” – Nobel Prize Winnter (x2), Dr. Otto Warburg, 1966.

Another impressive effect is that germanium compounds bond with negatively charged oxygen atoms. These can then capture toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, helping to detoxify the body.