Papaveraceae – The Poppy Family
Herbaceous, perennial flowering plant native to Eastern North America
Typically growing up to 1 - 2 feet tall
A single multi-lobed leaf approximately 5 - 10 inches across grows on a single stem
The plant grows from a branched rhizome that is orange-red in color, giving the plant its name of bloodroot. Over the years, the rhizome becomes so prolific that it forms large colonies of plants.
March to May
8 - 12 petaled flowers typically appear before the leaf has had a chance to unfurl
A seed pod approximately 1½ - 2 inches long grows from the pollinated flower, and ripens before the leaf goes dormant around mid summer
A true forest plant that is rarely found in disturbed soils, bloodroot grows in rich moist or dry woods and thickets. It can also be found growing along streams or in flood plains.
Wild Food Uses:
The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.
Sanguinaria canadensis contains toxic opiate-like Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids. With the primary toxin being Sanguinarine. Sanguinarine has been shown to kill animal cells by blocking transmembrane proteins.
Now with the above cautions, bloodroot has historically been used in very small doses to treat bronchial problems and infections. bloodroot paste has also been used to treat skin cancers, as well as to remove warts and tumors. A fluid extract has also been used as an effective treatment for ringworm.
Ongoing research into Sanguinarine is yielding some very promising results. Another important constituent of Bloodroot, Berberine, is showing promise in fighting brain tumors and many other cancers. We need to look past the initial idea that a plant is toxic, and identify which properties may offer medicinal value, and find a way to use them in an effective manner.
Anesthetic, Anti-Inflammatory, Antineoplastic, Antipyretic, Discutient, Emetic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Pectoral, Sedative, Stimulant, Tonic