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Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadenesis)

What is Bloodroot?

Bloodroot is a perennial flowering plant, native to North America, containing bioactive compounds that interrupt biological processes. It has been around for centuries and is known for its medicinal properties. Recent preclinical studies have concluded that sanguinarine, the active component of bloodroot, shows positive evidence of being an efficious treatment for skin cancers at micro molar doses.

Sanguinarine, a compound present in the bloodroot, was shown to have antimicrobial activity and to inhibit growth of new blood vessels. Use of bloodroot on skin lesions may result in serious harm. Other side effects of bloodroot include dizziness, vertigo, nausea, and vomiting.

Bloodroot has been used for inflammation, cough, infections, and as an anti plaque agent, and for cancer treatment.

Though the plant was originally used by Native Americans, it is still used today in traditional "black salve" for human conditions and in veterinary medicine.


You should be made aware of the dangers of self-treating with bloodroot-containing products through effective communication and education by clinicians.

Inappropriate use of cancer treatment can have some adverse effects. Bloodroot should not be used in individuals with glaucoma.

Unapproved use of bloodroot paste externally as cancer treatment has been linked to disfigurement.

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