Botanical Name: Sanguinaria Candensis
Family: N.O. Papaveraceae
Folkname: Indian Paint, Tetterwort, Red Pucoon, Red Root, Paucon, Coon Root, Snakebite, & Sweet Slumber.
Bloodroot is a perennial plant that grows low to the ground. Its habitat ranges from Prairie Provinces of Canada, as far south as Florida and west to Arkansas and Nebraska, in the United States. Bloodroot favors open woods. The plant produces flowers in spring of white with golden stamens. After the bloom fades the leaves grow larger and die down in the fall. The autumn is when the roots of the plant are harvested. The roots are actually rhizomes and when harvested they need to be stored in a dry place to prevent deterioration. The seeds are spread by ants who take the seed pods to their colonies, eat the flesh of the pod, and take the seed to the ‘garbage pile’ where the seeds then germinate.
The rhizome of the Bloodroot plant exudes a bright red sap when the root is cut or broke. This red sap was used by Native Americans as a dye for clothing and for body paint. The use of the sap for body paint is dangerous because of the damaged the sap can cause if applied directly. It is thought that the sap was mixed with some there ingredient to prevent this from happening.
We DO NOT endorse the use of this herb for internal use as it can be very harmful even fatal if too much is ingested. The following is for historical purposes only and is from Botanical.com.
“Emetic cathartic expectorant and emmenagogue, and of great value in atonic dyspepsia, asthma, bronchitis and croup. (The taste is so nauseating, that it may cause expectorant action.) Of value in pulmonary consumption, nervous irritation and helpful in lowering high pulse, and in heart disease and weakness and palpitation of heart of great use. For ringworm apply the fluid extract. Also good for torpid liver, scrofula, dysentery. It is applied to fungoid growths, ulcers fleshy excrescences, cancerous affections and as an escharotic. Sanguinaria root is chiefly used as an expectorant for chronic bronchitis and as a local application in chronic eczema, specially when secondary to varicose ulcers. In toxic doses, it causes burning in the stomach, intense thirst, vomiting, faintness vertigo, intense prostration with dimness of eyesight.”
Magickal Uses and Correspondences
Bloodroot is a popular herb used in VooDoo as a protective ‘hex-breaker’. Bloodroot is also popular for use in rituals and spell pertaining to relationships and marriage. There are two kinds of Bloodroot used in these cases, the darker ‘King’ root for the male aspect and the lighter ‘Queen’ root for the female aspect. The root would be placed in a red sachet and then placed within the bed of the couple to ensure a healthy marriage.
Bloodroot is also excellent as a protective charm for one’s home. Placing a root within the home, out of reach of pet and children (remember it is poisonous) is said to protect from negative energies and spells. Burning of the root as a powder is said to have the same effect. (use caution when burning a known poisonous herb, burn in a well ventilated area or outside)
Bloodroot can be substituted for actual blood in spells that require such an ingredient. Of course this should only be done if the spell or rituals DOES NOT require the ingestion of whatever the bloodroot was used in. Again, it is a poisonous herb.
Bloodroots are primarily masculine but as stated before the lighter roots can be used in the feminine aspect.
Bloodroot’s planetary relation is to Mars with the elemental relation being Fire. Bloodroot has no specific deity association. Previous experience lends that if you are working with a deity who corresponds to Mars and Fire then the use of Bloodroot in spells and rituals is acceptable.
Of Special Interest
Sanguinarine is a part of the sap from the Bloodroot. This was widely used in toothpaste to help destroy plaque. While this use was approved by the FDA, it has been recently shown that the continued use of the toothpastes with this ingredient caused cancers of the mouth. Sanguinarine is still used by some companies in their formulas.
In the End
Bloodroot is a very interesting plant. It has been around for thousands of years and has made it mark through the use of its red ‘blood’ as a dye and through the use of one of its chemicals as a dental product. Bloodroot is very poisonous and should not be used internally or topically. It should be used for your magick workings as desired.
As always, do your research! Never use an herb before doing your due diligence and know what you are doing.
Now for those who don’t listen.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.