Herb Robert is an annual or biennial herb that is native to Europe, southern temperate Asia, and North Africa, and has naturalized in North and South America.
Herb Robert is a supreme, therapeutic herb. It is an annual, to 30-40cm, stems branch in many directions, and these stems may turn red, in colour. Green leaves, 6cm long, form opposite, at knotted joints in the stem; leaves are palmate in shape, deeply cut, and often tinged with colours of pink, red or bronze. Stems and leaves are covered with very fine hairs. Fresh leaves can be eaten or tossed into a mug to make a tea. The flower and leaves can be dried and stored so that it can be used throughout the winter months as a tea or tossed into salads as a nutrient booster. The root can be dried and used. Rubbing fresh leaves on the skin is said to repel mosquitoes. The tisane is mildly diuretic and has astringent qualities. The plant has been used in Asia for the treatment of malaria, jaundice and kidney infections.
The main actions of the plant are astringent, antibiotic, increase of immunity and natural resistance to stress, adaptogen, regulates metabolism and muscle and brain caloric burning, tonic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, anti diabetes, anti-diarrhoea, decreases blood pressure, antidepressant, anticancer, antioxidant and anti aging. The herb is renowned in Portugal, by both traditional doctors and herbalists, as the most effective herbal remedy for cancer treatment and prevention. The herb contains ellagic acid, which research has shown may slow growth of some tumours caused by certain carcinogens.
Herb Roberts 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. It provides antibiotic, antiviral and antioxidant help which is all the more important nowadays when our bodies have to cope with so many different kinds of pollution from different sources. As with all herbs, this herb must not be taken without consulting a health care provider.