Biological Name: Sanguinaria canadensis
Other Names: Red Root, Red Indian Paint, Tetterwort, Blood root, Indian paint, Indian plant, pauson, red paint root, red puccoon, red root, sanguinariat
Parts Used: Dried rhizome
Isoquinoline alkaloids, including sanguinarine (~1%), chelerythrine, sanguidaridine, oxysanguinaridine, sanguilutine, berberine, coptisine, chelilutine, protopine, sanguidimerine, sanguirubine, a- and b-allocryptopine and others.
Expectorant, anti-spasmodic, emetic, cathartic, nervine, cardio-active, topical irritant.
Blood root is mainly used in the treatment of bronchitis. Whilst the stimulating properties show in its power as an emetic and expectorant, it demonstrates a relaxing action on the bronchial muscles. It thus has a role in the treatment of asthma, croup and also laryngitis. However, by far the most important contribution Sanguinaria has to make is in chronic congestive conditions of the lungs including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and bronchiectasis. It acts as a stimulant in cases of deficient peripheral circulation. It may be used as a snuff in the treatment of nasal polyps.
Native of N. America and Canada, bloodroot is a small perennial plant, about 6 inches high, found in shaded, rich soils. The finger-thick rootstock contains a red juice when fresh; when dried it is yellow inside and brown outside. The leaves are basal, each coming from a bud on the rootstock; they are cordate or reniform in shape, palmately veined and lobed. It bears a white flower with 8 to 12 petals arranged in two or more whorls.
Decoction: Put 1 teaspoonful of the rhizome in a cup of cold water, bring to the boil and leave to infuse for l0 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
Tincture: Take 1-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.
Combinations: Blood root is excellent when used in combination with Horehound and Elecampane for congestive complaints. In pharyngitis it combines well with Red Sage and a pinch of Cayenne.
Large doses are sedative and overdoses can be fatal.
DO NOT USE WITHOUT MEDICAL SUPERVISION. NOT RECOMMENDED.