Bloodroot facts

Bloodroot is a plant which is cultivated for its medicinal properties and has been used for the centuries. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic. This plant is used to treat cancer, infections and coughing. The dark red sap is found in the roots of Bloodroot which resembles blood. It is a stemless plant.

Name Bloodroot
Scientific Name Sanguinaria Canadensis
Native Native to Eastern North America
Common/English Name Bloodroot, Indian paint, Red root, Sweet slumber, Snakebite, Coonroot, Pauson, Puccoon, Tetterwort, Bloodwort, Red puccoon, Coot root, Indian plant, Saguinaria
Name in Other Languages America: Tetterwort
Plant Growth Habit Herbaceous, perennial
Soil Light to medium, well-drained
Plant Size Height: 20-50 cm (7.9-19.7 inch)
Sap Bright orange
Root Thick, round; Length: 1-4 inch (2.5-10 cm)
Stem Smooth, round, pale green, tinged with red, Height: 8 inches
Leaf Basal, kidney shaped, Width: 2.5-8 inches (6-20 cm)
Flowering Season Late March-Early April
Flower 8 to 12, white petals, showy, hermaphroditic; Across: 2 inches
Pod shape & size Oblong, elongate capsule, Length: 1-2 inches (3-5 cm)
Seed Round,  black to orange red, Length: 1/16th-1/8th  inches (2-3 mm)
Season Late spring
Health Benefits
  • Prevents cancer
  • Respiratory system
  • Healthy heart
  • Applied topically
  • Treat migraine
  • Relief arthritis
Traditional uses
  • Bloodroot is used to empty the bowels, cause vomiting and lower the tooth pain.
  • It is used to treat hoarseness, croup, sore throat, nasal polyps, poor circulation, warts, rheumatism and fever.
  • Bloodroot is applied to the skin around the wounds to eradicate dead tissue and enhance healing.
  • During the mid 1800s, the extracts of bloodroot were applied to treat breast tumors.
  • In dentistry, bloodroot is used on the teeth to reduce the build-up of plaque. Plaque is a film of saliva, mucus, bacteria, and food particles that can promote gum disease.
  • Bloodroot was used by Native Americans to treat health ailments such as fevers, bronchitis and warts.
  • The rhizome was used by American Indians to treat rheumatism, bronchitis, asthma, laryngyitis and lung ailments.
  • Bloodroot was used by Native Americans as a love charm, dye and medicine.
  • Bloodroot helps to cure warts, eczema, benign skin tumors and skin afflictions.
  • The internal use of this herb helps to cure ailments such as asthma, laryngitis, emphysema, pharyngitis, bronchitis, sore throats and croup.
  • Bloodroot is used in a homeopathic remedy to treat migraines.
  • The sap or infusion made from root helps to treat benign skin tumors, eczema, warts, chilblains, tumors or ringworm.
  • The dried powder is used to cure nasal polyps.
  • It is used to encourage bleeding in women, abortion and treat cramps.
  • It is used as an ingredient in toothpastes and eliminates oral bacteria.
  • The topical application of bloodroot is used to treat skin problems such as fungus, athlete’s foot, chronic eczema, venereal blisters, ringworm and rashes.
  • The salve which is made from root helps to eliminate warts and cancerous tumors.
  • Bloodroot is used as an ingredient in homeopathic remedies, cough formulas, pharmaceutical preparations and mouthwash.
  • The root is mixed with various compounds to cure heart problems, and migraines.
  • The extracts of fluid are used to treat ringworm.
  • The root is used as an anesthetic, emetic, cathartic, emmenagogue, diuretic, expectorant, sedative, febrifuge, tonic and stimulant.
  • The extract is used to treat gingivitis, plaque, cavities and tartar.
  • Blood root helps to eliminate the abnormal skin growths.
  • The tinctures are used to treat skin blemishes and moles.
  • The tea of Bloodroot assists in the peripheral blood circulation.
  • It acts as a powerful insect repellent.
  • Bloodroot helps to enhance coughing and clears mucus from the respiratory tract.
  • It is used as an emetic which helps to treat piles.
  • The side effects experienced with the bloodroot includes nausea, drowsiness, vomiting and grogginess.
  • The skin contact with the plant can cause rash.
  • It can cause irritation when it get into the eyes
  • The excessive use of Bloodroot can lead to low blood pressure, coma, shock and an eye disease which is called glaucoma.
  • Bloodroot is not sage when it is used as a mouthwash and toothpaste because it may raise the chances of white patches inside the mouth.
  • The breast feeding and pregnant women should avoid Bloodroot.
  • Bloodroot can irritate the intestinal or stomach problems such as Crohn’s disease, infections, or inflammation.
  • The internal use of Bloodroot is not recommended.
  • The overdose of Bloodroot extract can cause nausea, dizziness, intense thirst, slow heart rate, stomach burning, loss of consciousness and vomiting.
  • The topical use of Bloodroot may burn the skin or makes the skin red.
  • The red sap possesses a toxic alkaloid, sanguinarine which is able to poison nerves if used internally.
  • The mixture of Bloodroot and zinc chloride is savage and unpredictable.
  • The long use of Bloodroot may lead to glaucoma, oral cancer, edema, miscarriage, heart disease, collapse, fainting, diarrhea and vision change.
  • It is not safe to use Bloodroot internally by the children.
  • The whole bloodroot plant is poisonous.
  • One should consult the licensed healthcare professional to use Bloodroot.
  • The Bloodroot products such as tinctures, paste, salves and oils should be used after consulting with doctor.
  • It should not be applied to eyelids, genitals, etc.
  • Don’t let bloodroot get into your eyes because it can cause irritation.
Other Facts
  • The red orange juice from the roots is used as a dye for clothing war paint, basket and used to repel insects.
  • Bloodroot was used by Native Americans for spiritual, medicinal, and practical purposes.
  • Bloodroot belongs to the member of Poppy family.
  • It is considered as one of the first wildflowers which blooms in the spring, and one of the largest early flowers which is about 1.5-2 inches.
  • Flower blooms for one or two days.
  • The flowers of Bloodroot do not have nectar.
  • The seeds contain elaiosome that attracts ants.