Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is a flowering plant native to the eastern part of the United States and Canada. The root and budding rootstalk (called the rhizome) secrete a red fluid when cut, giving the plant its name. During the fall months, the root and rhizome are routinely harvested by herbalists for use in medicines.
Bloodroot has long been used by Native Americans to induce vomiting in a practice intended to cleanse the body of harmful toxins. Healthcare providers of alternative medicine contend that it can treat a wide array of medical conditions. In western herbal medicine, the plant is most often used as an expectorant and antimicrobial in respiratory infection, and as a debriding agent in oral health.