Sanguinaria canadensis, commonly known as Blood Root, is a perennial, flowering plant which is a native of North America. It is the only species in the genus Sanguinaria. It is also called Bloodwort, Redroot, Red Puccoon and Pauson. It has also been known as Tetterwort.
The plants can be 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. Deer will feed on the plants in early spring.
Traditional Uses of Blood Root:-
Blood Root was used historically by Native Americans as an emetic and respiratory aid. Sanguinarine is its major chemical constituent.
There are several commercial uses of sanguinarine and blood root extract which include dental hygiene products. The United States FDA has approved the inclusion of sanguinarine in toothpastes as an antibacterial or anti-plaque agent. There is quite a bit of controversy over the use however.
Some animal food additives sold and distributed in Europe contain sanguinarine.
Blood Root is a popular red natural dye much employed by artists from the Native American background, especially among southeastern Rivercane basketmakers. A break in the surface of the plant, especially the roots, reveals a reddish sap which can be used as a dye.