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Red Puccoon/ Bloodroot is a plant where the stem is often used to make medications. It is believed to help with many ailments, including tooth pain, headaches, skin problems, muscle, and joint pain, breathing problems, fevers, and even cancer. This is because it contains chemicals that may help with fighting bacteria and inflammation.
Sanguinaria canadensis is also known as Canada puccoon,[rx] bloodwort redroot, red puccoon and sometimes pauson. It has also been known as tetterwort,[rx] although that name is also used to refer to Chelidonium majus. Plants are variable in leaf and flower shape and have in the past been separated out as different subspecies due to these variable shapes. Currently, most taxonomic treatments include these different forms in one highly variable species. In bloodroot, the juice is red and poisonous.[rx]
Uses/ Health Benefits of Red Puccoon
- Dental plaque - Brushing teeth with a specific toothpaste containing bloodroot and zinc chloride (Viadent Original, Vipont Pharmaceuticals) or using a similar toothpaste containing bloodroot, zinc chloride, and fluoride (Viadent Fluoride toothpaste, Vipont Pharmaceuticals) along with a using mouth rinse containing bloodroot and zinc (Viadent Oral Rinse, Vipont Pharmaceuticals) seems to reduce dental plaque. Also, rinsing with bloodroot mouthwash after a professional tooth cleaning seems to slow the regrowth of dental plaque. In addition, using a bloodroot toothpaste (Viadent toothpaste, Viadent Inc.) and rinsing with bloodroot mouthwash (Viadent Oral Rinse, Viadent Inc.) seems to prevent plaque development in teenagers wearing orthodontic devices.
- Swelling of the gums (gingivitis) - Although some conflicting results exist, most research shows that brushing with a toothpaste containing bloodroot and zinc chloride (Viadent Original, Vipont Pharmaceuticals) or using a similar toothpaste containing bloodroot, zinc chloride, and fluoride (Viadent Fluoride toothpaste, Vipont Pharmaceuticals) along with a mouth rinse containing bloodroot and zinc (Viadent Oral Rinse, Vipont Pharmaceuticals) reduces gingivitis. Also, rinsing with bloodroot mouthwash (Viadent Oral Rinse) after a professional tooth cleaning seems to slow the development of gingivitis.
- A serious dental infection (periodontitis) - Early research shows that using toothpaste and a mouth rinse containing bloodroot extract and zinc chloride for 2 weeks following usual periodontitis treatment reduces gum swelling and bleeding, but not a dental plaque, in people with periodontitis.
- Constituents - Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) contains several alkaloids, primarily in the rhizome; the major alkaloids include sanguinarine, chelerythrine, Cherubini, sanguinarine, chelilutine, the opium alkaloid protopine, and sanguinarine.-rx] The rhizomes contain approximately 3-7% total alkaloid. The chief benzylisoquinoline alkaloid is sanguinarine, which is attributed with most of the bloodroot's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.[rx] The root also contains red resin and a large quantity of starch.
- Anti- H. pylori effects - In an in vitro study, methanol extracts of Sanguinaria canadensis rhizomes inhibited the growth of Helicobacter pylori, with an MIC50 range of 12.5-50.0mcg/mL.[rx] Protopine also inhibited the growth of the bacterium, with an MIC50 of 100mcg/mL.
- Antimicrobial effects - Sanguinarine has demonstrated antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, antifungal activity against Candida and dermatophytes, and antiprotozoal against Trichomonas.[rx]The proposed antibacterial mechanism of action is sanguinarine's ability to react with nucleophiles. Sanguinarine may also kill animal cells by blocking the action of Na+/K+-ATPase transmembrane proteins. There is particular interest in sanguinarium's effects on oral bacterial and fungal populations.[rx],[rx] In a clinical split-mouth study, a seven-day treatment with 5% sanguinarium led to significant microbiota changes, such as decreases in antibiotic-resistant bacteria and yeast in periodontal sites as well as in the saliva.[rx] The reduction in bacteria may be due to sanguinarine's inhibition of bacterial adherence and plaque formation, as it induces bacteria to aggregate and become morphologically irregular in vitro.[rx],[rx]
- Antimycobacterial activity - In an in vitro screening, sanguinarine and chelerythrine from the roots of Sanguinaria canadensis inhibited Mycobacterium aurum and Mycobacterium smegmatis.[rx] Of the two, chelerythrine was more active with IC50=29.0mcg/mL (75.56mcM), while sanguinarine's IC50=7.30mcg/mL (19.02mcM).
- Bloodroot’s Anti-Cancer Properties - In fact, it is considered to have certain anti-cancer properties since it contains berberine, a substance found to fight cancer cells. In addition to laboratory tests verifying its anti-cancer potency, it has been used to treat tens of thousands of people over the last century and a half. Many of these (according to some estimates as many as 80%, which is probably greatly exaggerated) experienced remission of malignancy and longer life expectancies than people with similar conditions who chose different treatments.
- Bloodroot Supports Healthy Cells - Because of its ability to support healthy cells, Jon Barron uses bloodroot in his Blood Support formula. It is currently being studied further to determine its level of effectiveness as a skin cancer treatment. While the studies may not confirm its use for this yet, bloodroot has been used for years to treat a variety of other skin conditions including ringworm, skin tags, warts, polyps, and fungal growth. Dr. Andrew Weil has recommended a powered or paste version of bloodroot for the removal of skin tags and moles.
- Bloodroot as an Antibiotic - Its antibiotic properties have led to its being approved by the FDA as a toothpaste ingredient. The extract has been used to treat gingivitis and help with prevention and formation of cavities, plaque, and tartar.
- Indicated for Headache, Cough, Face flushed, Poison ivy.
- Sanguinaria canadensis is a homeopathic remedy often used for severe headaches where the pain begins in the back of the head (occiput) and spreads over the head and settles over the right eye, with nausea and vomiting.
- Emptying the bowels
- Causing vomiting
- Wound cleaning
- Breast, tumor
- Chest, pains
- Cold, Croup Deafness. Diphtheria
- Menstruation breasts are painful during
- Edema glottidis
The Dosage of Red Puccoon
- The higher the potency, the longer the effect. A 6C potency may need to be repeated every 1 – 2 hours for a period to improve symptoms while an M potency may only have to be given once.
- Medium potencies such as 30C are a good choice for home prescribers who have some familiarity with homeopathy. They may be given every 2 – 4 hours until symptoms are relieved, and then only repeated if symptoms return. Improvement should be noticed by 1 – 3 doses if the correct remedy has been selected.
Side Effects of Red Root
Bloodroot should not be used long-term to avoid toxicity. It is also toxic when taken in large doses. Symptoms of toxicity include:
- Blurry vision
- Slow heartbeat
- Feeling faint
- Dilated pupils