Information on Bloodroot

Latin NameSanguinaria canadensis
Other NamesRed puccoon
Part UsedRhizome
Herb FormsTinctures, bulk herbs, capsules.
AffectsIntegumentary system
CautionsFor external use only. Do not use bloodroot preparations near the eyes.
Botanical InfoA small perennial herb with delicate white flowers that blooms early in the spring. An Eastern North American native herb of deciduous hardwood forests.
DescriptionThe bright red rhizome is used to make tinctures and preparations such as salves and ointments for external use.
The fresh herb is strongly acrid and can burn the skin or mucous membranes if applied directly. After drying, it loses some of this effect.
Bloodroot is commonly used in antiseptic mouthwashes and is sometimes recommended by dentists and oral hygienists to help fight plaque and reduce the incidence of tooth decay and gum disease. Scientific studies have supported this use.
The herb is also a popular cancer-fighting remedy for external application. Under the supervision of a qualified herbalist, the tincture and strong bloodroot salve are used for breast cancer, skin cancers, and to remove warts and other growths.


Tincture5-20 dr daily

Ailments Treated by Bloodroot

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Gum problems, generalantibacterialtincture diluted as mouthwash
Periodontal diseaseantiseptictincture diluted as a wash
Wartsantiviraltincture externally


Newall, C. et al.. 1996. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press.
Leung, A. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.