Sanguinaria canadensis

Bloodroot has a pure white flower and a stem and root that bleed red sap; in European magic it is a plant of pure life blood. In hoodoo, it is used to quell domestic problems and aid sexual pleasure. Medicinally, the root is used in cancer treatment.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is one of the first spring flowers in the forest, its showy white blooms heralding warmer times. The sap is bright orange and the root gives a rusty red.

It's an emetic, with all that entails. It is also an analgesic, and salves were also used for skin conditions and rheumatism. Concoctions of the root were traditionally used to remove warts and moles and skin cancers (doctors are better at this now, go see them instead). Often, it was mixed with lye, and the strongly alkaline lye combined escharotic properties of the alkaloids (primarily Sanguinarine) killed skin cells.

There are dozens of medicinal uses for this plant over a variety of herbals. This is common for showy plants with striking features like red roots and sap. You can identify a number of these uses as coming from the doctrine of signatures since the stem 'bleeds'-- increasing circulation, blood tonic, emmenagogue etc.

Magically, the root powder and sap can be used in protection and purification preparations. The root itself is carried as a protective charm. The petals from the flower were also plucked in a similar "He loves me, he loves me not" style more commonly associated with daisies.

Root, cut: 10 g (1/3 oz):