Sanguinarea canadensis

Bloodroot Flowers

Tis Mal Crow warns that bloodroot should not be used by pregnant women, by men or women on hormone therapy, or by anyone on chemotherapy. He says it should not be used in any form by these people, including for purposes of personal adornment (skin painting) or in tooth powder.

He recommends dilute amounts . . . and makes no reference whatsoever to cancer.

He says the root should only be gathered by women or two-spirited (homosexual) people and never during their Moon cycle or menses.

He says the plant comes in two colors, salmon (male) and crimson (female.) To determine the sex of the plant, you tear the leaf. It will bleed salmon or crimson and one is to match the plant to the gender of the patient.

I am paraphrasing from his book, Native Plants: Native Healing, because of recent clinical trials that suggest that preparations described in my book for cancer might also be effective in reducing viral loads of AIDS patients, but no one I know is differentiating the plant according to color.

Tis Mal Crow describes bloodroot as a female hormone regulator. Personally, I am fascinated by this perspective since my experience with bloodroot has been mainly with breast cancers and Kaposi sarcoma lesions, and I have always been aware that people using the herbs respond on many levels to the treatment. I am also very much concerned that many conditions today are aggravated by environmental factors that tend towards great hormonal imbalance: plastics, everything from packaging to dental composites that are hugely estrogenic; hormone additives that are found in animal products and even in ground water; and dietary habits that tend to foster imbalances, such as excess consumption of sugar and inadequate consumption of proper (non-irradiated) spices and bitters. All of this has tended towards an effeminization that is easily seen in fish in certain areas of the country and more subtly in lowered sperm counts and rising stubborn sterility/infertility rates. If the aggravating factors are not addressed, there would tend to be an androgynization of males and excess feminization of females.

Given that the handwriting has been on the wall for several decades, I had been wondering which herbs offer the most potential for resolving the effects of such estrogenic influences. It would be necessary to remove the stored hormones as well as restore balance to the reproductive system. I had not considered bloodroot for this task and had been focusing more on a turmeric-based formula since turmeric can, among other things, dissolve plastic. The question would then be how to mobilize the traces of this from the body.

I had been particularly keen to use a plant that is abundant and not put even more pressure on the endangered species bloodroot.


For others who want to grow bloodroot, read this book on Planting the Future, edited by Rosemary Gladstar.




Seeds and rhizomes can be obtained from:

Horizon Herbs
P.O. Box 69
Williams, Oregon 97544







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