Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sanguinaria canadens

It has been a glorious day. The spring flowers are bursting forth. Along with the daffodils, these wonderful Bloodroot blossoms are emerging from their winter sleep in our shade gardens. The root contains several alkaloids, most notably sanguinarine, which has shown antiseptic, anesthetic and anticancer activity. American Indians used the root for rhuematism, asthma, bronchitis, lung ailments, laryngyitis and fevers. The red-orange juice from the root was applied to warts, used as a dye and a decorative skin stain. Bachelors of the Ponca tribe used it as a love charm, by applying it to their palms and shaking hands with the woman they wanted to marry. Within 5 or 6 days, the girl would be willing. (I did not use this technique on my wife of 39 years- chuckle.)

Bloodroot works great for the shade or woodland gardener. The early white flowers are a welcome sign that spring is on the way and the bold, green leaves will persist through the growing season.

Note: TOXIC - Do not ingest


Post a Comment

<< Home