Photos of Sanguinaria canadensis, Bloodroot.

Sanguinaria canadensis, Bloodroot attracted much attention by the early nineteenth century medical community. Externally, the dried roots was used as a wash to treat “ill-conditioned ulcer.” It served an expectorant ingredient in cough preparations. It was considered to be an emetic and cathartic. Even a small dose of the fresh root was well-known to produce symptoms such as heart-burn, nausea, faintness, vertigo, diminished vision, and vomiting. This early-blooming poppy family member contains benzophenanthridine alkaloids, including sanguinarine.

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