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Copyright © 1990 - 2016 by Robert Dale Rogers. All rights reserved.
No portion of this book, except for a brief review, may be reproduced, or copied and transmitted, without permission of author. This book is for educational purposes only. The suggestions, recipes and historical information are not meant to replace a medical advisor. The author assumes no liability for unwise or unsafe usage by readers of this book.

 

CONTENT

  1. INTRODUCTION

  2. MEDICINAL

  3. HOMEOPATHY

  4. FLOWER ESSENCES

  5. SPIRITUAL PROPERTIES

  6. PERSONALITY TRAITS

  7. BOTANICA POETICA

  8. RECIPES


bloodroot
RED INDIAN PAINT
REDPUCCOON
TETTERWORT

(Sanguinaria canadensis L.)

(S. grandiflora M. Roscoe.)

(S. vernalis Salisb.)

 

PARTS USED- rhizome, root, leaf


What time the earliest ferns unfold

And meadow cowslips count their gold,

A countless multitude they stood,

A Milky Way within the wood.

White are my dreams, but whiter still,

The Bloodroot on the lonely hill;

Lovely and pure my visions rise,

To fade before my yearning eyes,

But on that day, I thought I trod

‘Mid the embodied dreams of God.

Tho’ frail those flowers, tho’ brief their sway,

They sanctified one perfect day,

And tho’ the summer may forget,

In my rapt soul they blossom yet.

DANSKE DANDRIDGE

 


INTRODUCTION

Sanguine means related to bleeding, from Latin Sanquis for blood. Canadensis means, “of Canada”. The common name is from the orange red juice contained in the root and underground stem. Tetter is a skin disease like ringworm, eczema or impetigo.

Bloodroot is a perennial member of the poppy family that grows throughout Eastern Canada woodlands and as far west as Manitoba and northern Saskatchewan. Its flower is so delicate that the lightest breeze will cause petals to fall off the same day they open. Each flower is unique having from 7 to 16 petals but usually thirteen. Later, each seedpod will contain 25 or more seeds.

It is hardy to zone 2-3 and does well in the aspen parkland and boreal forests of the northern prairies. It prefers shade and shelter, with moist but well-drained sandy soil. The spring blossoms are enclosed in a deep-lobed, quilted leaf. After flowering, the leaves continue to grow larger.

Bloodroot is an excellent dye for hides, baskets, moose hair, porcupine quills and clothing. It is a permanent stain, when used with human urine as a mordant.

The root was used as a charm for gambling, love, hunting, or fishing, usually worn around the neck.

Traditionally, the root was pounded and applied to painful and inflamed rheumatic joints, or snakebites.

A decoction of dried rhizomes healed ulcers, and a cold infusion was for sickness caught from a menstruating girl.

The Iroquois used root decoctions for stomachache, and menstrual problems; as well as infusions for earaches. The Algonquin used the root for heart troubles, and the Abenaki as an abortive agent. The Malecite tribe used the root to stop tuberculosis and associated lung hemorrhages, as well as infected skin wounds.

The Potowatomi and Ojibwa squeezed the rhizome juice onto lumps of maple sugar and let it melt in the mouth for sore throats. The Powhatan call this native poppy, MUSQUASPENNE. The Cherokee were observed using it for breast cancer in 1857.

Puccoon is one native name for bloodroot- Red Puccoon was also known as Bloodroot and Yellow Puccoon as Goldenseal in eastern North America, and Gromwell (Lithospermum ruderale) in the west.

Puccoon is derived from the Algonkian POUGHKONE.

Apparently, the Delaware natives chewed a small piece of root daily to help maintain good health. The Mohegan, Gladys Tantaquidgeon wrote “for general debility, a pea sized piece of root is taken every morning for 30 days”.

The root has been used traditionally to dissolve tumors and shrink goiters.

Tis Mal Crow suggests the fresh root is best used like a red marking pen and painted on the wrists and neck to help balance hormones.

The Chippewa call it MIS’KODJI’BIK, or Red Root, and used it as a dye and medicine.

The Omaha Ponca used the root as a skin dye, and boiled it to make a red dye for porcupine quills, and hides. The Forest Potawatomi steeped the root infusion for diphtheria. Drops of the root juice are put on maple sugar for sore throats.

In some tribes it was used as a love charm. A bachelor would rub the fresh root on the palm of his hand and shake hands with the woman of his desire. If the charmed worked, they would marry him within the week.

Smoke of burning plants was wafted over someone who had seen a dead person, to clear the energy and restore balance.

John Smith reported in 1612 that “Pocones…being dryed and beate in powder turneth red: and this they use for swellings, aches, anointing their joints, painting their heads and garments…and at night where his lodging is appointed, they set a woman fresh painted red with Pocones and oile, to be his bedfellow.”

Bloodroot has long been used as part of cancer therapies, mainly in the form of external poultices, syrups, and pastes. One popular cancer liniment is two parts Blue Flag, and one part each of Bloodroot and Red Clover.

Today, it is regaining popularity amongst native and other young people interesting in body paint expression as an alternative to tattooing.

The fresh or rehydrated root was not simply a matter of tattooing. Older women used the red juice to paint part of their hair, fingers, around the eyes and a large dot on the back of the neck to balance hormones.

The root was rubbed on the wrists to control hot flashes, mood swings, and to minimize changes to facial and body hair during menopause. When used under the eyes, it also helped protect from the sun’s powerful glare when working outside.

For headaches, the fresh or re-hydrated root can be rubbed into the base of the skull or back of the neck.

Folk healers of Appalachia know the plant as She Root, and used it for female complaints.

Dr. Cutler wrote “when the fresh root is broken, a juice issues, in large drops, resembling blood. The Indians used it for painting themselves, and highly esteemed it for its medical virtues.... An infusion of the root in rum or brandy makes a good bitter.”

It was taken internally for asthma, coughs or to induce menstruation.

Dr. Cook wrote, “the fresh root is bitter and harsh. The dried root is a slow relaxant and stimulant, influencing the mucous membranes, gall- ducts, and secreting organs in general.”

Charles Thurmond, of Foxfire fame, says the root “is very, very bitter. If you know someone who’s got asthma, you might want to give them bloodroot. If you break those roots and touch that juice to your tongue, it opens your sinus areas.”

Back in the mid 1800s, the root extracts were used as a dental analgesic.

Bloodroot was formerly in both the United States Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1910 and the National Formulary (1925-1965) for the treatment of sub-acute and chronic bronchitis.

In 1977, it was placed on the USDA list of unsafe herbs. This is ironic as Bloodroot is listed by the Council of Europe as a natural source of food flavouring (category N3).

Dr. William Fox used a liniment consisting of two parts blue flag root, and one each of red clover blossoms and bloodroot, all in tincture form. This was saturated into a cloth and applied to affected areas; changed twice daily.

Dr. Eli Jones perfected one of the most famous escharotic pastes involving bloodroot. See recipes below. Bloodroot was also part of the original Hoxsey formula. Later it was only included in the external salves.

Dr. J. Weldon Fell learned of using bloodroot for skin cancers from Iroquois along Lake Superior in 1850. He made a paste of bloodroot extract, zinc chloride, flour and water. He smeared this on cotton and applied to affected area after touching it with nitric acid.

His technique was perfected at Middlesex Hospital in London and the results of 25 cases are detailed in his treatise. All cases illustrated remissions, if not cures.

Bloodroot was part of a fixative paste used in Moh’s chemosurgery technique for excising basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas on the nose. Phelan et al, Surgery 1963 53.

For those interesting in Cancer Salves, there is no better book than that by Ingrid Naiman. She has done a remarkable job of research and integration of the entire subject.

Bloodroot, when fresh, was crushed and combined with sweet cream as a salve for erysipelas, or streptococcus skin infections.

The root is used in the Chinese rubbing oil called PO SUM ON.

The root extract was used in a discontinued toothpaste (Viadent), and mouthwash for treating gingivitis, plague formation by up to 30% and to promote oral health in cases of gum disease. Viadent was developed in 1983, by a rodeo cowboy from Colorado.

The root alkaloids help inhibit plaque from settling on tooth enamel, killing bacteria and fight oral compounds responsible for bad breath.

It appears that sanquinarine is converted to a negatively charged amine ion that inhibits plaque. Sanguinarine kills bacteria and stops them from converting starches into gum tissue dissolving acids, as well as blocking the enzymes that destroy gum collagen. Small amounts have been found more effective than chlorhexidine, the active ingredient of dental mouthwashes.

Bloodroot fruit follows the flower, and look like a small cigar, filled with tiny seeds.

They are carried away by ants that eat the small crest. The remaining seed then sprouts the following spring.

Bloodroot can be grown from seed, or by root division. It likes a soil temperature of 60-70 degrees F for best germination. The freshly formed seed is best for fall replanting, as the seed mortality rate increases significantly with drying out. Sometimes it will not germinate until the second spring, so be patient.

Root division also works, by simply breaking off the side shoots, and immediately replanting them. Plant the bud facing upward only a half-inch deep, and six inches apart. Well-decayed leaf mulch will do much to enhance survival and growth.

For harvest, 3-4 year roots are collected in fall after the tops have died back. The rhizome should be dried whole in a well-ventilated room with low humidity for at least one week. Use gloves for handling. Yields of 1000 pounds of dried root per acre are not unreasonable.

The alkaloids in bloodroot have been shown to decrease with elevations in land, and season, soil pH and humus content, and increase with rhizome water content. A recent survey suggests that the highest alkaloid content (sanguinarine) occurs during flowering and fruiting.

The plant is practically depleted in the United States, due to over- harvesting. The cultivated crop could yield up to 2000 pounds per acre in the third to fourth year.

Work by Graf et al, J Ag Food Chem 2007 55 found cultivated rhizomes are larger and more consistent in size, but alkaloid content both higher and more variable. Month to month variability was noted in the study.

In veterinary medicine, the leaf of Bloodroot is used to destroy botfly larvae on horses (and cattle I presume). It is used in Europe as a non-antibiotic animal feed supplement to promote weight gain.

A teaspoon of root or leaf was given to horses in their feed for several days in spring, if they seem sluggish and are not shedding their winter coat.

A one-inch piece of root was given, in powdered form, to dogs with excessive diarrhea. Give three times daily for three days on, and then three days off.

The seeds, according to Rafinesque, are violent narcotics, similar to those of Datura, producing fever, delirium and dilated pupils. The red latex is used on laboratory animals to induce glaucoma. In the 1950s, a novel bloodroot plant was found in the US Midwest, with more durable flowers. All garden specimens, with numerous flowers have descended from this S. canadensis multiplex or florepleno.

MEDICINAL

CONSTITUENTS-rhizome- various iso-quinoline alkaloids (4-7%) including sanguinarine (0.6-6.3%), chelerythrine, sanguidaridine, oxysanguinaridine, sanguilutine, homo-chelidonine, protopine, berberine, coptisine, chelilutine, chelirubine, sanquidmerine, sanguirubine, alpha and beta allocryptopine; sanguinaric acid, citric acid, malic acid, resins

plant- oxysanguinarine, sanguirubine, pseudochelerythrine, porphyroxin, di-hydrosanquilutine, beta homo-chelidonine, allocryptopine, starch. Leaf contains 0.08% alkaloids, and root 1.8%.

Roots contain just 10% content of sanquinarine as rhizomes. Aerial parts contain 1/1000th of rhizome.

Bloodroot possesses hot, dry and bitter properties. This makes it excellent for promoting expectoration and resolving phlegm of a cold that is full and creating breathing problems. Being a close relative of Celandine, it possesses similar activity. A prominent indication of use is redness of face or tip of tongue with feeble peripheral circulation.

They also work well together. A study of 13 HIV and AIDS patients receiving celandine and bloodroot (175:5 ratio) capsules showed over half enjoying increased energy and improved immune function, with reduced size and tenderness of lymph nodes. D’Adamo P, Journal of Natural Medicine 1992 3.

In harsh, dry coughs, with a lot of throat irritation, tickling and scant mucous, it also gives relief. Acute and chronic bronchitis responds  to its stimulating and decongesting nature, as well as more serious conditions like pneumonia and whooping cough. Note that it works best when membranes are atonic following an acute inflammation.

Combine with demulcent herbs for coughs, to soothe and protect mucous membranes as bloodroot is drying in nature.

Small doses relieve irritation, while slightly larger doses give bronchial stimulation and increase expectoration.

Note that small doses stimulate the heart and stomach, and high doses sedate.

The isoquinoline alkaloids provide a direct anti-tussive effect via the medulla cough centre.

It is one ingredient in Compound White Pine Syrup, used for respiratory distress.

Bloodroot helps stimulate and clear nasal congestion, including sinus infection and inflammation.

In fact, diluted bloodroot infusion or tincture has been used traditionally in treating rhinitis, sinusitis and nasal polyps. The powdered root is sometimes used as a snuff for these conditions. Ear and nose cancers have also been treated with the diluted herb. Combine with Myrica gale for nasal polyps.

In fevers, it acts as an efficient diaphoretic, by inducing perspiration and allowing the body to remove toxins.

Bloodroot is a digestive stimulant, and useful in relieving biliary congestion, by promoting bile flow and correcting appetite loss.

In the case of delayed menstruation, brought on by fright or cold, or due to low body energy, Bloodroot will promote and normalize the menstrual cycle. Work by Zava et al, Biol Med 1998 217:3 found Bloodroot, by far, the strongest binder to progesterone receptors in vitro. Along with mistletoe and juniper, it also inhibited proliferation of both estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative cell line in vitro.

This correlates to the long traditional usage of the herb in preventing and treating breast cancer, and menopause; and certainly validating traditional native use.

A few drops of bloodroot tincture can be applied to cervical erosion, or dysplasia. Place a few drops on the end of a tampon and insert up to cervix mouth. Before this, apply bromelain for one minute to soften cells walls. Apply bloodroot for another minute and then wash off and douche with Calendula.

Transdermally, the root can be rubbed on the skin for absorption into the body.

Urinary incontinence due to Kidney Yang deficiency responds to itshot, stimulating and dispersing energy to the uro-genital region.

In doses of one twentieth of a grain, the bloodroot powder is a gastric and intestinal stimulant. At one-twelfth of a grain, it is expectorant and useful in cases of pneumonia, bleeding lungs, chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, as well as more minor colds, coughs, sore throats and such.

Large doses can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal colic, shock, coma, hypotension and collapse.

In the Materia Medica Botanica, Peter Good wrote, “This plant is one of the most valuable medicinal articles of our country, and is already very generally introduced into practice. Few medical plants unite so many useful properties; but it requires to be administered with great care and skill, without which it may prove dangerous.”

This makes Bloodroot valuable externally for the treatment of skin tumours, whether cancerous or not.

Eczema, ringworm, tinea, scabies and warts all respond to repeated treatment with bloodroot ointment or painting the affected area with tincture. A vinegar extract is a good anti-fungal for athlete’s foot. Wet down bloodroot powder with thuja oil (see Cedar) for more effective wart removal.

Recent work at the University of Wisconsin has found bloodroot protects against skin cancer. Sanquinarine was shown to enhance production of proteins that induce apoptosis in cells damaged by UVB radiation.

It restricts certain proteins that stimulate skin cell production, suggesting it may be useful in protecting skin from cells genetically damaged by radiation and those cells beginning to transit from normal to pre-cancerous. This is the definition of a chemo-preventative, and a potentially useful ingredient in sunscreen formulas. When applied to skin there was no activity until exposed to UVB radiation suggesting a new, novel use.

Sanguinarine shows activity against B16 melanoma 4A5 cells.

Recent work has shown both sanguinarine and chelerythrine to uncouple oxidative phosphorylation and intercalate with DNA, in studies by Maiti et al, FEBS Letters 142. This explains, in part the well known anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects of the herb.

Bloodroot increases cytokine production after strenuous exercise suggesting a benefit in maintaining immune potential. Sechina et al, Blood Cells Mol Disease 2009 Sept 18.

Sanquinarine shows increased anti-bacterial activity when combined with zinc. Both sanquinarine and chelerythrine have been shown to inhibit cancer activity in laboratory studies.

Both sanguinarine and chelerythrine inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that may be responsible for stomach and duodenal ulcer formation. Mahady et al, Phytother Res 2002 17:3.

As mentioned before, sanguinarine from bloodroot is an excellent antiseptic and anti-bacterial for preventing plaque on teeth. Research indicates it reduces plaque formation in only 8 days, and reduces gum bleeding.

Work by Godowski, J of Clin Dentistry 1989 1:4; Eisenberg et al. J of Dental Res 1985 64; and Southard et al, J of Am Dental Assoc 1984 108 found reduced plague, inflammation and bacteria associated with gum disease.

Godowski et al, J Clin Dent 1989:1 found sanquinarine active against gram positive and negative bacteria, Candida species, various fungi and Trichomonas. His work found in vitro inhibition of bone resorption and collagenase. No follow up work has been done.

Bloodroot at low concentrations inhibits both Mycobacterium aurum and M. smegmatis. Newton et al, J Ethnopharm 2002 79 57-67.

Sanguinarine has a number of beneficial uses. It induces apoptosis, modulates NFkappaB, and perturbs microtubules, suggesting anti- tumor benefit. Chaturvedi et al, J Biol Chem 1997 272:48.

It appears to increase the sensitivity of breast cancer cells to TRAIL mediated apoptosis. Kim et al, J Cell Biochem 2008 104:3.

It shows cardiovascular protection, reduces hypertension, is anti- platelet and positive inotropic in action. Machraj et al, Cardiovasc Ther 2008 26:1.

It has been speculated that the original Ojibwa formula that has become known as Essiac, contained Bloodroot and not Turkey Rhubarb root. This makes total sense to me, as the latter is from Eurasia and would not be part of a traditional formula. Bloodroot blocks enzyme activity that destroys collagen, in a manner similar to Echinacea.

Sanquinarine inhibits collagenase, aminotransferase, as well as butyryl and acetyl-cholinesterase. Keller et al, J Clin Dent 1989 13.

The leaf of Bloodroot is a valuable medicine, especially for sluggish liver. Care must be taken with the leaf as well, as it can be toxic and cause tunnel vision that lasts two to three days.

Commercial products that contain Bloodroot extracts are Sedatussin and Prunicodeine.

Conclusions reached in the 1960s over the carcinogenic potential of sanguinarine have been disproved.

It is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Recent studies suggest no hepatic or reproductive toxicity associated with the herb. Keller et al, J Clin Dent 1989:1.

Water infusions of the flower and root show significant immune modulation, better than leaf or rhizome.

Alcohol extracts of the rhizome exhibit strong activity against K562 human myelogenous leukemia cancer cell lines. Senchina et al, J Herb Spice Med Plants 2009 15:1. Another research team headed by Aburai found similar results. Biosci Biotech Biochem 2010 74:3.

Mazzio et al, Phytother Res 2008 Oct 9 looked at 374 natural health products and tested their LC50 against neuroblastoma cell lines.Bloodroot was active at very low concentrations, as was Balsam Poplar (P. balsamifera), Kochia (K. scoparia) and Buckthorn (Rhamnus carthartica).

HOMEOPATHY

Sanguinaria is predominately a right-sided remedy, with right-sided migraines and right-sided pneumonia of the lower lobe of the lung.

The patient may be anxious and in a worried mood, possibly peevish and impatient as well.

Hering described the headache as the American sick headache that starts with irritability, bitter vomiting, vertigo on rising or turning head quickly.

Enlarged veins around the head and soreness of the scalp are present. The mucosa are all affected by burning catarrhs, creating pharyngitis, tracheitis, bronchitis with thick mucous, bronchiectasis with spastic cough.

Hayfever with a burning in the nose and throat is another indication; as is the burning gastric pain from overeating or consumption of alcohol.

There is a great deal of heat in the feet and skin, with hot flushes of the head, and perhaps red patches on the cheeks.

If this sounds like menopausal hot flushes, there will be temporary but comparatively fleeting relief.

The migraines are accompanied by feelings of hunger, and yet aversion to eating and the smell of cooked food. Often it combines well with its close cousin Chelidonium in migraine situations.

Both stomach and liver complaints may manifest in sour belching with asthma, hay fever and headaches. Diarrhea may result from catarrhal illness of various origins.

Rheumatic complaints, particularly of the arms, are worse at night. Hip pain, also at night, may give shooting, stabbing pains down the leg.

Sanguinaria is comparatively superficial in action, and although it will bring speedy relief, it must be followed by other remedies, for more chronic problems.

It will help those women suffering from disorders of the uterus and ovaries, as well as menopausal complaints, and headaches during menstruation.

DOSE- Tincture doses in headaches, 4th potency in menstrual and 6th potency in rheumatism. The mother tincture is prepared from the fresh, or dried rootstock with roots attached. For migraines, try alternating with Petasites.

First proving by Downey with six males using powdered root or leaves and decoction in 1803. Bute and Hering used six provers at 1st and 6th dilutions in 1840s.

Tinker used one prover with tincture in 1866. Pilling self-experimented with tincture around same time.

Sanguinarina nitricum is indicated especially in chronic mucous polpi of the nose. Enlarged adenoids also respond well, as does acute pharyngitis.

The nostrils burn and feel dry, and yet a pressure is constantly over the nose.

The right tonsil is swollen, and there may be ulceration on the sides of the tongue.

Inflammation of the respiratory passages.

DOSE- Third trituration. The attenuations are prepared from alkaline nitrates from the root of S. canadensis. This was a popular drug of Eclectics, and preferred form for respiratory conditions.

First proving by Owens with three provers with crude substance and 3x.

Sanguinarium tartaricum is indicated in cases of exophthalmos; and in mydriasis and dim vision.

Tully and Terry experimented with Sang. Tart, in considerable doses. Tully says he has repeatedly witnessed “all the effects of Sanguinaria root, save the neuralgic pains and the convulsive affections.” The most peculiar of the symptoms he mentions are: Starting and protrusion of the eyes, extreme mydriasis, haggard expression and cold surface and cold sweats. Clarke.

DOSE- Third trituration.

FLOWER ESSENCES

Bloodroot flower essence is for trusting that you will be protected as you move forward in your evolution. Finding the courage and inner resources to heal old wounds and move from a place of despair and darkness to the light. Embracing your inner light.                

WOODLAND

Bloodroot is for those who exclude themselves, or feel ostracized, from a group or community, usually because of deep feelings of unworthiness. It helps heal the wounds of rejection and free us from the bonds of unworthiness. 

DESERT ALCHEMY

Bloodroot flower essence enhances concentration, meditation, and creative visualization, especially in healing and for people who are too intellectual. The main psychological clue to look for is people who want to meditate.

Bloodroot activates the heart chakra, strengthens the cellular level of the body, and eases the radiation and heavy metal miasms. The mental and spiritual bodies are brought into greater alignment to function more as a single unit. When this happens, the intellect is spiritualized.

The traditional herbal properties of bloodroot are transmitted in the flower essence to animals. In addition, bloodroot can sometimes be helpful when it is added to an animal’s bath or sprayed upon the animal and then shortly thereafter a playful time is allowed.

From this essence, playfulness may be strengthened within animals.

There is an added connection between iron and the soil and the plant’s ability to absorb it. When iron deficiency is noted in plants, it may be appropriate to use this essence. There is some benefit to adding this essence to plants as well as to the soil. By adding soil high in iron along with this essence, absorption and utilization of iron within plants will be enhanced. 

GURUDAS

Bloodroot flower essence is associated with pagan femininity and the Goddess. It represents the necessity of hidden power and strength for both men and women.

In nature, it is very rare to find a wholly intact flower head, as the slightest wind will disturb the plant and cause it to drop one or more petals.

The number thirteen, considered unlucky today in popular literature, is actually the opposite, a number of luck. Losing one petal, it becomes the twelve of the coven, the knights of the round table, the 12 lictors

of Romulus, the 12 Peers of France, the 12 Namshans of the Round Council of the Dalai Lama, and so on.         

PRAIRIE DEVA

Bloodroot flower essence works through your energy fields and through the etheric body blueprint that expresses through your DNA to change genetic codes that hinder the embodiment of your full potential.         

TREE FROG

Bloodroot essence helps one see and know themselves better. It helps find your hidden inner light.         

CHOMING

Bloodroot is profoundly important to enable one to be a state of allowance.         

FLORALIVE

SPIRITUAL PROPERTIES

Years later, while studying plant spirit medicine with Eliot Cowan, I journeyed to the spirit of Bloodroot. I found myself deep in a forest glade where there were very bright lights, almost blinding to the eyes. This was where the spirit of Bloodroot lived. She appeared to

me as a very kind older woman dressed in a shimmering silver gown. She looked like Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. She had what seemed like a wand but it could also have been a walking stick.

I asked her about the gifts that she offered to people. She said that her main gift was that of purity; She purified the blood, the emotions and the spirit. She cautioned me to use her sparingly because her gift was so powerful. Her gift was to be used only in special cases.

She then asked me if I wanted her to enter into me, to which, of course, I said yes. She touched me with her staff and I fell into an altered state of indescribable peace and clarity— purity of spirit.           PAM MONTGOMERY

PERSONALITY TRAITS

Bloodroot is used primarily as a women’s medicine. It should only be gathered by women or two-spirited people (homosexuals). As with all herbs, women should never gather it during their moon time or during menses. The root is found in two colours that represent the two sexes of the plant.

A salmon-coloured root is the male root, while a crimson red colour is the female root. The sex of a bloodroot can be determined by tearing the tip of the leaf which will bleed either salmon or crimson. When using the root, you match the sex of the plant to the sex of the user in most cases.

Men used the dye as a war paint or ceremonial face paint.

Because men used this as a war paint, only the women were allowed to gather it. The women had control over when and why the men went into battle.              TIS MAL CROW

BOTANICA POETICA

Blood root (Sanguinaria canadensis)
This low dose botanical

Can help your lung infection
In asthma and in croup

Will aid expectoration
It is also an emetic

A cathartic, if you will
To be used with caution
Avoiding greater ill

In case of ugly skin stuff

A lesion gone awry

A slice of this rhizome

Is something one could try

Blood Root for your bronchitis
In a vinegar extract

Or a salve to help the skin 
Might put it back on track.

SYLVIA CHATROUX

RECIPES

TINCTURE- Use fresh spring or fall root. Chop immediately and add to 60% alcohol in a ratio of 1:2. Dosage is 0.3-2 ml three times daily, unless nauseous.

Leaf tincture can be made from the fresh plant. Use 1 drop in water or under tongue up to 6 times daily for sluggish liver. Small amounts of zinc enhance the anti-bacterial effect.

DECOCTION- One tsp of dried rhizome to one cup of water brought to boil. Steep ten minutes. Drink one teaspoon three to six times daily.

REHYDRATING DRY ROOT- Place quarter inch dried root in a half cup of water and let stand overnight. This can then be used for skin painting, or for use on wrists and neck.

DR. FOX’S CANCER LINIMENT- Combine two parts blue flag with one part each of red clover and blood root; all at 70% alcohol. Saturate a cloth with tincture and apply to affected area twice daily. Cover with plastic to keep moist.

OINTMENT- Mix one part of powdered root in three parts of lard. Simmer at low heat, strain, and let set to cool. This is an excellent ointment for ringworm, running sores and skin cancers.

BLACK OINTMENT- One part powdered bloodroot, one part chloride of zinc, one part black antimony (trisulfide), and one-half part flour. Combine all save chloride of zinc which is spread over the top. Let it stand 24 hours to melt into mixture. Then stir with wooden spoon until a consistent salve forms, over 3-4 days. The mixture is spread on affected area for 3 nights.

BLOODROOT PASTE #1- Combine one ounce each of glycerine, saturated solution of chromium chloride; and zinc chloride to six ounces each of solid extract Sanguinaria and pulverized sanguinaria. Dr. Jones said that this is the least painful of the pastes, but that it does not work deeply enough. This was to be used after a growth has been removed and the sore is healing.

It will stimulate tissue to become active, and is painted on affected area 2-3 times daily.

PASTE #3- Combine four drams solid extract of sanguinaria, with twelve drams of zinc chloride, one dram starch and two drams red saunders (red sandalwood powder). Add enough water to make paste. This is used in cases of breast cancer, as well as cancers of the lip, hand, foot, arm, or back where it is necessary to go deeper.

CAUTION- Do not use Bloodroot with children, during pregnancy or lactation, and individuals with glaucoma. In some individuals it can contribute to temporary tunnel vision. Also, do not use the herb with HRT or chemotherapy.

Animal studies indicate bloodroot is non-toxic during pregnancy, but for safety factors avoid during this time.

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