Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is a native North American herb, most well known for its use in alternative medicine for treating skin cancer. It was used traditionally by Native Americans to treat tumours, cancers, warts, and other maladies of the skin. Its name stems from the blood-coloured liquid that comes from the perforated roots of the plant. Bloodroot is very strong, and should always be used with caution. This recipe yields approximately 2 cups of bloodroot paste.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Rubber gloves
- Bloodroot powder
- Zinc chloride crystals
- White flour
- Chaparral extract
- Mixing bowl
- Stainless steel double boiler
- Wooden spoon
- Glass jar
Put on rubber gloves to protect your skin from the bloodroot powder before you begin. It is absorbed quickly through the skin and can cause irritation in its raw form.
Combine ½ cup bloodroot powder, ½ cup zinc chloride crystals, ½ cup white flour, and ½ cup chaparral extract in a mixing bowl. Stir to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients.
Fill the bottom chamber of a stainless steel double boiler with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 ½ cups water to the top of the boiler, and stir in the bloodroot mixture using a wooden spoon.
Cook for 30 minutes, stirring constantly, making sure the water continues to boil in the bottom of the double boiler the entire time.
Remove the bloodroot paste from the heat, and pour into a clean, sanitised glass jar with a tightly-fitting lid. Use immediately for best results, or store in the refrigerator for up to two days. Discard any unused portion after this time has passed, because bloodroot paste does not keep well.
Tips and warnings
- You can substitute zinc chloride liquid for the zinc chloride crystals.
- You can buy bloodroot powder, zinc chloride and chaparral extract in local natural health stores, or some well stocked chemists.
- Bloodroot is a strong inflammatory agent and should never be applied without medical supervision. Side effects can include nausea, headache, and local inflammation, rash, or irritation. Consult a qualified medical or herbal practitioner before you use bloodroot paste on your skin.