Blood root
shopping: two varieties
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Discontinued
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$34.95 
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Discontinued
Out of stock
$87.36 
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per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$34.95 
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per Pound
Quantity:  
$87.36 

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Sanguinaria canadensis
plant overview
dying with bloodroot

What is bloodroot herb? Bloodroot is a North American perennial, although it can thrive elsewhere if given organically rich soil. While the bloodroot herb is not generally considered a garden or landscaping plant, it does produce attractive white flowers in early spring. The plant is harvested for its thick taproot, which harbors an orange-reddish liquid. Native Americans used the underground parts of bloodroot to produce a dye for clothing, leather, and other textiles. The bloodroot herb is not used internally because, like its cousin, the poppy, it contains opium alkaloids.

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Blood root

01.
A Bit of Botany

a little botanical information about bloodroot

description
Sanguinaria canadensis, is a member of the Papaveraceae family. It is a native spring wildflower perennial that grows up to ten inches tall; the plant has a single, basal leaf that can be as wide as eight inches. The flower is located on a separate stalk and is white with a yellow center.

Bloodroot is one of the first wildflowers to bloom beginning in late winter and continuing into early spring. The "root", consisting of a thickened rhizome covered with fibrous roots, is known for its reddish-orange color.

common names
& nomenclature

Bloodroot refers to the reddish-orange color of the root of this plant.

Also known as:
red root, red indian paint, tetterwort, indian paint, indian plant, pauson, red paint root, red puccoon, red root, paucon, coon root, snakebite, sweet slumber, and bloodroot

Blood Root, the dye root herb

02.
Where in the World

habitat and range for bloodroot

Bloodroot is native to eastern North America from Nova Scotia, Canada southward to Florida, United States, and west to Great Lakes and down the Mississippi embayment.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting

considerations for growing and harvesting bloodroot

climate
Sanguinaria canadensis plants are found growing in moist to dry woods and thickets, often on flood plains and near shores or streams on slopes. They grow less frequently in clearings and meadows or on dunes, and are rarely found in disturbed sites.

soil
Blood root prefers moist acidic soil.

growing
Bloodroot propagation is typically done through seed or root division. Seeds are not readily available in large volumes and rootstock is expensive. Bloodroot is easily propagated by dividing the rhizomes in spring or in fall. Plants can be started indoors from seed or seed can be directly sown into the ground, but the rhizome divisions allow for a faster harvestable root.

harvesting
Most bloodroot is harvested in the fall, but some is harvested in spring. If harvesting in fall, more than likely the leaves will have died back, making it difficult to know where plants are located unless the beds were clearly marked beforehand. Great care should be taken not to damage the roots.

Shake the roots free of soil and carefully remove any roots that are not bloodroot. Bloodroot is very susceptible to mold and should be processed as soon as possible. Wash the roots with a high-pressure stream of water from a hose. All soil must be removed from the roots. This may require breaking some of the larger roots to get them clean.

preserving
Once the roots are clean, they are can be dried in a warm place with high airflow. A dehydrator, greenhouse, or room equipped with racks, dehumidifier, heater, and fan is often used. Roots are dried at about 950F, with high air-flow, for approximately three to seven days. Roots must be checked regularly for mold or deterioration. When roots break without bending, they are dry enough to store.

Special attention must be paid to larger roots to be sure they are dried thoroughly. Once the roots are completely dry, they can be stored in burlap sacks, cardboard barrels, or cardboard boxes, in a cool, dark, dry location. They need to be protected from rodents and insects. Dried roots can be stored for two years.

caution!
Since bloodroot preparations can also damage healthy skin, they should be used carefully and never on broken skin or sensitive areas, such as the eyelids, lips or genitals.

04.
The Rest of the Story

basics, recipes, health

What is Bloodroot?

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis), commonly known as bloodroot, is a low-growing, North American flowering plant and the sole member of its genus. This fact doesn’t mean that the plant is less than prolific, however, since its propagation is aided by the activity of ants. In a type of mutualism called myrmecochory, ants collect and store bloodroot seeds in the colony to be used as food. Some of the seeds are consumed, but others are nourished by by-products produced in the nest and later germinate.

Formulas & recipes

Bloodroot salve recipe.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup bloodroot herb
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup beeswax

Combine bloodroot and olive oil in saucepan and heat on low, stirring occasionally for at least 3 hours. After 3 hours, turn off the stove and let the mixture cool until the temperature is comfortable enough to handle.

Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth and let all the oil strain out. Make sure to squeeze the cheesecloth to extract any extra oil. While oil is being strained, heat up the beeswax on the stove in the same saucepan. Stir in the bloodroot mix until everything is the same color and texture throughout. Remove from heat and quickly pour into preferred salve tin or jar. Once the mixture dries it will be solid and salve consistency!

Benefits

Bloodroot herb benefits

The chief chemical component of this herb is sanguinarine, which actually represents a group of alkaloids that produce effects similar to morphine. Sanguinarine is also known to induce uterine contractions, so it should be entirely avoided by pregnant women.

In ironic twist, cell culture research suggests bloodroot alkaloids may offer acute immune health support. For instance, researchers at Drake University in Iowa have investigated the effects of sanguinarine.

Used externally, bloodroot has some very specific and highly desirable qualities—if used properly.

Specifically, bloodroot alkaloids have been used to dissolve unsightly moles, warts, and skin tags. However, since bloodroot preparations can also damage healthy skin, they should be used carefully and never on broken skin or sensitive areas, such as the eyelids, lips or genitals.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor,
especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.