A wildflower that’s native to the woodlands of Nova Scotia and Eastern US, bloodroot got its name from the fact that its roots have bright red-colored sap. A lot of tribes use it for painting their faces and dying fabrics and baskets. Other parts of bloodroot are utilized as well to produce orange- and yellow-colored dyes.
Know to be one of the first few flowers to blossom in spring, bloodroot is also sometimes referred to as bloodwort, sweet slumber, red pucoon, snakebite, coon root and Indian paint — it all depends on the location. Traditionally, the many different parts of bloodroot are used for medicinal purposes, from purifying the blood to treating skin diseases.
These days, you can come across bloodroot in the form of food supplement. Also, it is commercially grown to provide raw materials necessary for the manufacturing of certain toothpastes formulated to treat gingivitis and other common oral problems, thanks to the herb’s ability to kill off infection-causing microorganisms.
Let us take a peek at some of the well-documented health and beauty benefits that bloodroot brings:
It May Prevent Cancer
Based on studies, a biological compound in bloodroot called berberine is capable of reducing the number of cancer cells as well as the size of tumors in the brain. Experts are also taking a closer look at the effects of the said compound in dealing with cancer of the skin and breasts, and so far their findings all look promising.
It Serves as an Expectorant
Traditional healers use bloodroot in getting rid of excess mucus and phlegm in the upper airway, thus promoting a more comfortable breathing and eliminating chest pain. Bloodroot is also commonly used for treating the common cold, flu and other infections of the upper respiratory tract because of its antibiotic properties.
It Relieves a Sore Throat
Aside from the usual infections of the upper respiratory tract, bloodroot is also traditionally used for treating a sore throat. Again, it has something to do with the antibiotic properties of the herb, coupled with its ability to soothe inflammation. Bloodroot is also known to be effective against laryngitis, or the inflammation of the voice box.
It Heals Skin Diseases
Speaking of antibiotics, bloodroot can be applied topically in zapping microbes that can cause skin problems. For instance, the said herb is used for hundreds of years now in treating warts and eczema. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of bloodroot, it is also very good in dealing with the likes of psoriasis and acne.
It Treats Various Gum Problems
Because of the antibiotic properties of bloodroot, its extract is added to toothpastes that are specifically intended for those with gum problems such as swelling and bleeding, and most especially gingivitis. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved bloodroot as a toothpaste ingredient.
It Provides Joint Pain Relief
Another topical use of bloodroot, particularly in paste form, is the elimination of joint pain and swelling commonly bugging those with arthritis. That’s because it has analgesic properties. Also, it helps promote blood circulation to the joints, and that’s why bloodroot paste is also good for people with injuries affecting the joints.
It Also Eases Headaches
Other than the joints, bloodroot is also traditionally used for easing headaches. The herb is known to be an excellent healer of migraine. Those who suffer from migraine attacks that do not respond very well to conventional pain relievers may count on bloodroot each time they are bugged by migraine and other symptoms associated with it.
Caution: Pregnant women should steer clear of any preparation that contains bloodroot as it may have adverse effects on their babies. Similarly, those who are taking prescription drugs or diagnosed with serious medical conditions should first consult their health care providers before trying bloodroot.