Bloodroot Herb Use and Medicinal Properties
Bloodroot is used
in herbal medicine
in very small doses, mainly for bronchial problems and severe throat
infections. The root is used in many pharmaceuticals, mixed with
other compounds to treat heart problems, dental applications (to
inhibit plaque), and to treat migraines. Bloodroot paste is used
externally for skin diseases, warts, and tumors. For ringworm apply
the fluid extract. Bloodroot is said to repel insects. The root is
as an anesthetic, cathartic, emetic, emmenagogue,
expectorant, diuretic, febrifuge, sedative, stimulant and tonic.
Research is very promising for Bloodroot constituents. One is sanguinarine;
it is showing results as an anesthetic, antibacterial,
anti-cholinesterase, anti-edemic, anti-gingivitic, anti-inflammatory,
anti-neoplastic, antioxidant, anti-periodontic, anti-plaque, antiseptic,
diuretic, emetic, expectorant, fungicide, gastrocontractant, hypertensive,
pesticide, respiratory stimulant and more. Another important constituent
is Berberine (also found in Goldenseal, Oregon Grape and Honeysuckle)
which is showing promise in fighting brain tumors and many other cancers.
Use internally with caution, it contains toxic opium-like alkaloids and
can cause mucous membrane irritation, an over dose can be fatal, do not
use when pregnant or lactating. Bloodroot is not edible.
Click here to visit a site where people who have used Bloodroot for skin
growth share their experiences.
Bloodroot Habitat and Description
Bloodroot is a North
American native perennial herb found growing in shaded, moist, rich
woodlands from Quebec south to Florida and west to Kansas.
Bloodroot grows to
about 6 to 7 inches tall. The pale green, palmate, lobed, basal leaf
is wrapped around the flower as it emerges and opens as the flowers
blooms. The stem of Bloodroot is round, often orange or red when mature,
it is topped by a single white flower with 8 to 12 petals and bright
yellow center. The root is a thick, tender, tuber which contains a red
juice that stains the skin readily. Gather root when flowers are in bloom.
Dry the roots for later use or tincture fresh. Bloodroot is endangered and should be cultivated. Do not
harvest from the wild.
from seed or root cuttings, prefers light, sandy, moist soil, slightly
acidic, shady areas. Bloodroot takes easily to cultivation in shady areas.
Plants can be found from ethical cultivators. Again, do not take Bloodroot
plants from the woods.
Buy Bloodroot plants from Easyliving Wildflowers
Mix 4 tbs. fresh Bloodroot juice in 1 gal. cold water, add 1 tbs. alum as
mordant. This preparation will work on most material to achieve a red to
orange hue. Wear gloves when handling bloodroot.
History and Folklore
Bloodroot was used as a medicinal herb extensively by the Indian Medicine
Men and Women in some North American tribes. It was also a ritual skin
paint, or war paint, and used as dye by others. The red juice expressed
from the root makes an excellent die for cloth, yarn, and many other
materials and can be used as a wood stain.