Bloodroot is most common in damp forests and thickets but in recent times, it is being cultivated commercially to meet the growing demand for its extracts. While the sap can be toxic when in large amounts, it can be extracted from any part of the plant. In fact, the name, bloodroot, was derived from the red sap that “bleeds” from the flower. The sap is used for making face paints, baskets, and as a dye for clothing and wool.
Berberine, an active compound in the herb, has amazing effects on a person’s health as well.
The Health Benefits of Bloodroot
Bloodroot also possesses a range of natural health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at some of the impressive health benefits of the herb.
Bloodroot is used in producing toothpaste as a result of its natural antibacterial properties which are responsible for eliminating health issues such as gingivitis and some other gum infections. Additionally, bloodroot helps in reducing plaque on the teeth and support overall oral health.
Good for the Skin
Bloodroot is sometimes used in the production of topical skin products and herbal remedies. This is largely due to the high antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in the plant. These compounds are helpful in eliminating skin conditions such as acne, and eczema, psoriasis as well as warts, skin lesions, and tumors. For people who want smooth and blemish-free skin, applying bloodroot sap to the affected areas can make all the difference. However, this sap should be applied in very limited amounts.
Due to its ability to improve healthy cells, bloodroot is currently being studied further to verify its effectiveness as a treatment for skin cancer. Although these studies may not yield result soon, for so many years, bloodroot has been used to treat certain skin conditions such as polyps, ringworm, fungal growth, and skin tags. Some doctors have recommended bloodroot paste or powdered form to remove moles and skin tags.
Reduces the Risk of Heart-related Conditions
Bloodroot has been linked to heart-related conditions, especially high blood pressure. This is because its chemical constituents help to slow the blood and lower the strain on the heart. This, in turn, prevents coronary heart disease and reduces the negative effects of atherosclerosis.
Alleviates Migraine Pain
The anti-inflammatory properties of bloodroot possess the ability to ease alleviate headaches and migraine pain. It does this by destroying inflammatory molecules and incorporating some analgesic relief. Bloodroot is evidently a potent and effective herbal remedy for certain serious health problems.
Contains Antibiotic Properties
The antibiotic properties of bloodroot have facilitated its approval by the FDA as an ingredient in the production of toothpaste. The extract is also used in the treatment of gingivitis and helps in preventing the formation of tartar, plague, and cavities.
Like it was mentioned earlier, berberine is an essential chemical compound that is extracted from bloodroot. The compound is helpful in reducing cancerous cells and the size of tumors. Studies have been conducted on how bloodroot affects skin and breast cancers, and thankfully, the results are very positive.
In fact, bloodroot is considered to possess cancer-destroying properties to fight cancer cells, especially as it contains berberine. Even with laboratory tests to determine its anti-cancer abilities, bloodroot is currently being used in the treatment of various health problems, including different types of cancers. According to some studies, almost 80% of cancer sufferers who use bloodroot have experienced remission of malignancy and lived longer.
Bloodroot paste is used to alleviate arthritis, as it easily soothes the pain, reduce inflammation in joints, stimulate growth and repair, increase blood circulation all over the body, and improve metabolism.
Supports Respiratory Health
Regarding respiratory health, bloodroot is usually used as a remedy for health conditions like influenza, the common cold, sinus issues, and lung infections. It also acts as an expectorant by preventing mucus and phlegm, which are capable of attracting and collecting bacteria and other pathogens.
Other Health Benefits of Bloodroot
Many people are unaware of bloodroot’s tea-based remedy for coughs and other respiratory conditions and ability to stimulate mucous membranes. Bloodroot can actually help in improving blood flow in the body and inhibit irregular heartbeats. In addition, bloodroot is used for a number of other issues such as reducing toothache, emptying the bowels, and inducing vomiting.
The plant is also used in the treatment of hoarseness or laryngitis, poor circulation in the blood vessels, croup, sore throat or pharyngitis, fever, nasal polyps, painful muscles and joints, warts, and fever.
Side Effects and Precautions
Evidently, the plant has many health benefits but, there is a caveat: You only need a little quantity. This is because, when used in large doses, can lead to vomiting, nausea, pain in the feet, and tunnel vision.
Of course, bloodroot is not edible and it is popularly used as a skin treatment, but it can result in burns when used for too long, applied to the skin directly, or applied in excess. The trick is to begin slowly to ascertain if your skin is sensitive to it.
So, it is advisable to use bloodroot with caution because it contains toxic opium-like alkaloids and can lead to the irritation of the mucous membrane. Also, note that an overdose can lead to death and the plant should not be used by pregnant women or nursing mothers.
Evidently, bloodroot has a lot of amazing benefits, but there are certain side effects too. It is a very potent plant but can be dangerous if not used right to improve overall health. Bloodroot is toxic and can even result in scarring if used in excessive. Using bloodroot internally should be seriously limited to tinctures in little, specific quantities. As always, consult a qualified medical practitioner or doctor before considering the use of bloodroot.
The Bottom Line
Bloodroot is a herb with impressive health benefits, including its ability to induce vomiting, ease bowel movements, combat bacteria, remove the accumulation of plaque on the teeth, and cure a toothache. It is also used to treat fever, sore throat, croup, laryngitis, nasal polyps, warts, and rheumatism. In fact, bloodroot can be applied directly to the skin to heal wounds and for the treatment of breast tumors.