Bloodroot, or Sanguinaria canadensis, is a type of wildflower found in areas of eastern North America. Bloodroot gets its name from its recognizable reddish sap, which was once used for dying fabric.1 The plant was also used by Native Americans for ritualistic and medicinal purposes.1,2 The rhizome is the most commonly used portion
Bloodroot Uses and Health Benefits
Bloodroot is known to contain many healthy properties. It’s said to help fight fungal growths, such as ringworm, and can help clear the respiratory tract to treat conditions like bronchitis or asthma.1 It can be used as a gargle for treating
Bloodroot is used as an ingredient in some
In homeopathic medicine, bloodroot is recommended for treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.4,5 Among some of its most notable benefits, the plant is a primary ingredient in black salve, which is said to have anti-cancer benefits. Cancers it may help in treating include:
Bloodroot Side Effects and Precautions
Bloodroot can be ingested in small doses, but too much--even as small as 1 ml--can lead to nausea and vomiting. Overdose can also cause diarrhea, stomach pain, fainting, visual changes, and even paralysis.6 When used as a dental product, bloodroot side effects can include leukoplakia, which is a condition that leaves white spots on the mouth. Long-term use of bloodroot should be avoided.
Pregnant or nursing mothers should not use a bloodroot herbal remedy. In traditional medicine, bloodroot was used to promote menstruation and therefore may present complications during pregnancy. More research is needed on the safety of taking bloodroot while breastfeeding, so it’s best for nursing mothers to avoid it altogether.1 Do not give bloodroot remedies to children.
There are no known interactions with bloodroot, but it’s best to proceed with caution if you are taking other herbs or medications.7 Talk to your doctor before starting on a bloodroot herbal remedy.