• Bloodroot has been used for many years and for several different reasons and purposes.  During this time, it has acquired a variety of common names.  These include red puccoon, tetterwort, redroot, pauson, turmeric, sweet slumber, Indian paint, corn root, snakebite, and sang dragon.
  • It is illegal to take bloodroot from the woods or from parks unless you have permission from the land owner.
  • Morphine and sanguinarine have the intermediate, (S)-reticuline in common.
  • Bloodroot is being tested as a treatment against cancer.
  • The flower of bloodroot is located on a separate stalk than the basal leaves.
  • Bloodroot must be harvested in the fall in order for it to have time to spread it's seeds for the next seasons crop.
  • Potential yield per acre is estimated at 1,500 lbs.
  • When bloodroot is in bloom, it opens during the day and closes at night.
  • Bloodroot seeds require a cold period in the winter in order to produce a root.
  • A warm period is also required so that the shoot will grow.
  • Bloodroot is sometimes used as a dewormer for cattle and sheep
  • Studies have shown that bloodroot kills cancer cells but does not harm healthy cells.


  • Bloodroot consists of a few different alkoloids like Sanguinarine, Chelerythrine, Berbrine, oxysanguinarine and Protopine.  Protopine is an opium alkoloid.
  • Sanguinarine is the most prominent alkaloid and it forms colorless crystals.
  • The molecular formula for Sanguinarine or Puesdochelerythrine, which is the active medicinal ingredient in bloodroot, is [C2OH14NO4]+, and its molecular weight is 33.334.

Structure of Sanguinarine

  • Sanguinaria is a a substance that kills tissue and when it touches the skin, causes severe pain.
  • "Sanguinarine kills animals cells by blocking Na+/K+-ATPase transmembrane proteins.  As a result, applying bloodroot to the skin may destroy tissue and lead to the formation of a large scab, called an eschar.  Bloodroot and its extracts are thus considered escharotic." (rexresearch.com)