( Sanguinaria canadensis )
Applications ( Skin Cancer &c )
Botany & Cultivation
Medical Attributes of Sanguinaria
canadensis - Bloodroot
by Abigail Redmond
Sanguinaria canadensis L., commonly known as bloodroot, red
puccoon, Indian paint, redroot, pauson, or tetterwort, is found
throughout most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains (Reed
1999). This herbaceous perennial is a member of the Papaveraceae
(poppy family) (Reed 1999). It reaches a maximum of ten inches in
height, has basal leaves that can be as wide as eight inches, and
a white and yellow flower appearing in late winter continuing into
early spring (Reed 1999). This species is found in rich woods,
usually on banks or slopes (Anon 2003).
Rhizomes of Sanguinaria canadensis produce an extract that is a
mixture of benzophenanthride alkaloids, most notably sanguinarine
(Godowski 1989). American Indians used the rhizome in treatment
of: rheumatism, asthma, bronchitis, lung ailments, laryngyitis,
fevers, and warts (Anon 1995).
Alkaloid production in S. canadensis was noted to increase with
decreased light intensity and fertilizer levels and decline with
topographic elevation (Salmore and Hunter 2001).
S. canadensis extracts have antibiotic activity. A study conducted
by Ignatov et al (1994) found that the enzyme-specific activity of
S. canadensis used in defense against pathogens may depend on the
presence of methyl jasmonate and acetylsalicylic acid. They found
that enzyme-specific activity could be increased up to 4- to 14-
fold when cultured cells were treated with methyl jasmonate and
acetylsalicylic acid (Ignatov et al 1994). Therefore, less
sanguinarine is needed if it is given with methyl jasmonate and
acetylsalicylic acid, than if it given alone.
Antimicrobial effectiveness of extracts of S. canadensis in
traditional treatment of leprosy and tuberculosis was tested using
two model species of mycobacteria, Mycobacterium aurum and M.
smegmatis (Newton 2001). S. canadensis was found to have
significant antimycobacterial activity against M. aurum only
(MIC=62.5 microg/ml) which supports the traditional uses of this
plant against those diseases (Newton et al 2001).
Effects on white blood cells are also dependent on the dosage of
extracts of S.canadensis. Sanguinarine extracts are not lytic to
neutrophils but even at very low concentrations (0.001%) will
inhibit neutrophil chemotaxis, oxidative metabolism and
degranulation within 5 minutes (Agarwal et al 1997). Therefore,
both the length of exposure and the dose of the drug both are
critical while considering the effectiveness of the extract in the
treatment of infections (Agarwal et al 1997). An in vitro analysis
of fifteen strains of Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that cause
common gastrointestinal upset, were growth inhibited by a methanol
extract of S. canadensis, with a MIC50 range of 12.5-50.0
microg/ml (Mahady et al 2003).
Sanguinaria has been investigated as an anti cancer treatment. The
activation of human myloid cells with tumor necrosis was
completely suppressed by sanguinarine in a dose- and
time-dependent manner (Chaturvedi et al 1997). Uterine cervical
cancer treatment with 2.12 or 4.24 microM sanguinarine induced
cell death in most pathogenic cells, providing first evidence that
sanguinarine is effective against cervical cancer cells via cell
death (Ding et al 2002). Sanguinarine showed no specificity for
cancer cells in human prostatic adenocarcinoma cells, inhibiting
the growth of all cells tested, suggesting clinical usefulness is
limited in cancer treatment (Debiton et al 2003). Four cases in
which patients had used sanguinarine extracts in lieu of the
recommended conventional treatment for basal cell carcinomas
showed that scarring ensued. One patient had a residual tumor, and
another "healed" for several years but then had deeply recurring
basal cell carcinomas (McDaniel and Goldman 2002).
The commercially marketed product Viadent mouthrinse and
toothpaste both contain sanguinarine, commonly used to treat adult
periodontitis. A comparison study shows that doxycycline hyclate
(a synthetic) is superior to sanguinarine chloride in treatment of
adult periodontitis (Drisko 1997). In a double-blind parallel
study, people using sanguinaria extract oral rinse did not show
improvement (Polson et al 1990). A 14-week controlled clinical
trial supported the combined use of chlorhexidine mouthrinse for 2
weeks followed by sanguinaria mouthrinse and toothpaste up to
three months in treating periodontitis (Tenenbaum et al 1999). The
MIC of sanguinarine ranges from 1 to 32 micrograms/ml for most
species of plaque (Godowski 1987). A match case-controlled study
including 58 patients diagnosed with oral leukoplakia showed that
Viadent product use may cause oral leukoplakia (Mascarenhas et al
2002). Based on reviews and discussions of the database on
Sanguinaria extract, the Expert Panel declared Viadent products to
be safe in present use (Frankos et al 1990).
Benefits of Sanguinaria canadensis extract include leprosy and
tuberculosis treatment, antimicrobial treatment for the
gastrointestinal system, cervical cancer and tumor treatments, and
adult periodontitis treatment. Risks include a dose and time
dependent treatment that is not well understood or proven, no
specificity in growth inhibition of cells (normal or cancerous),
and proven harm in abandoning traditional treatments in basal cell
carcinomas. More research is necessary to determine whether
Sanguinaria canadensis is effective as an anticancer treatment.
Agarwal, S & N. Piesco, D. Peterson, J. Charon, J. Suzuki, K.
Godowski, & G. Southard. 1997. Effects of sanguinarium,
chlorhexidine and tetracycline on neutrophil viability and
functions in vitro. Journal of Biological Chemistry 28;30129-34.
Anon. 1995. North Carolina Natural Bloodroot.
Anon. 2003. National Park Service Bloodroot.
Chaturvedi, M A. Kumar, B. Darney, G. Chainy, S. Agarwal, & B.
Agarwal, B. 1997. Sanguinarine (pseudochelerythrine) is a potent
inhibitor of NF-kappaB activation, IkappaBalpha phosphorylation,
and degradation. Journal Periodontol 68;729-33.
Debiton, E J. Madelmont, J. Legault, & C. Barthomeuf, C. 2003.
Sanguinarine-induced apoptosis is associated with an early and
severe cellular glutathione depletion. Cancer Chemotherapy
Ding, Z & S. Tang, P. Weerasinghe, X. Yang, A. Pater, A.
Liepins, A. 2002. The alkaloid sanguinarine is effective against
multidrug resistance in human cervical cells via bimodal cell
death. Biochemical Pharmacology 15;1415-21.
Drisko, C. 1997. The use of locally delivered doxycycline in the
treatment of periodontitus. Clinical results. Aust Dentistry
Frankos, V., D. Brusick, E. Johnson, H. Maibach, I. Munro, R.
Squire, C. Weil, 1990. Safety of Sanguinaria extract as used in
commercial toothpaste and oral rinse products. Journal of Can
Dentistry Association 56;41-7.
Godowski, K. 1989. Antimicrobial action of sanguinarine. J Clin
Dent. 1989. Spring; 1:96-101.
Ignatov, A., W. Clark, S. Cline, M. Psenak, J. Krueger, & C.
Coscia. 1994. Elicitation of dihydrobenzophenantride oxidase in
Sanguinaria canadensis cell cultures. Planta Medicine 60;553-7.
Madady, G C. Liu, & C. Beecher, C. 1997. Involvement of
protein kinase and G proteins in the signal transduction of
benzophenanthridine alkaloid biosynthesis. Arch. Biochemistry and
Mahadria , G S. Pendland, A. Stoia, L. Chadwick, L. 2003. In vitro
susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to isoquinoline alkaloids
from Sanguinaria canadensis and Hydrastis candensis. Phytother
Mascarenhas, A., C. Allen, & M. Moeschberger. 2002. The
association between Viadent use and oral leukoplakia &endash;
results of a matched case-control study. Journal of Public Health
McDaniel, S & G. Goldman. 2002. Consequences of using
escharotic agents as primary treatment for nonmelanoma skin
cancer. Arch Dermatology 138;1593-6.
Newton, S C. Lau, S. Gurcha, G. Besra, & C. Wright, C. 2001.
The evolution of 43 plant species for in vitro antimycobacterial
activities. Journal of Chemical Ecology 27;1729-47.
Polson, A, N. Stoller, P. Hanes, C. Bandt, S. Garret, & G.
Southard. 1990. Two multi-center trials assessing the clinical
efficacy of 5% sanguinarine in a biodegradable drug delivery
system. Journal of Can Dentistry Association 56;7-12.
Reed, D. 1999. Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States,
Salmore, A & M. Hunter. 2001. Environmental and genotypic
influences on isoquinoline alkaloid content in Sanguinaria
canadensis. Journal of Chemical Ecology 27;1713-27.
Salmore, A & M. Hunter.. 2001. Elevational trends in defense
chemistry, vegetation, and reproduction in Sanguinaria canadensis.
Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 363;203-8.
Tenenbaum, H., M. Dahan, & M. Soell. 1999. Effectiveness of
sanguinarine regimen after scaling and root planning. Journal of
Clinical Periodontol 25;947-52.
This paper was developed as part of the BIO 368 - Medical Botany
course offered at Wilkes University during the summer of 2003.
Course instructor was Kenneth M. Klemow, Ph.D.
(email@example.com). The information contained herein is based on
published sources, and is made available for academic purposes
only. No warrantees, expressed or implied, are made about the
medical usefulness or dangers associated with the plant species in
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Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) has long been known for
its strong medicinal properties, especially with respect to its
curative action in treating a wide variety of skin disorders.
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discriminate between healthy and cancerous tissue, is often used
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Jennifer Wilson (Australia)
George S. Ackerson
Botany & Cultivation
Genus: Sanguinaria L.
Species: S. canadensis
Binomial name : Sanguinaria canadensis L.
Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, is a perennial, herbaceous
flowering plant native to eastern North America from Nova Scotia,
Canada southward to Florida, United States, and west to Great
Lakes and down the Mississippi embayment. It is the only species
in the genus Sanguinaria, included in the family Papaveraceae, and
most closely related to Eomecon of eastern Asia.
Bloodroot is also known as bloodwort, red puccoon root, and
sometimes pauson. Bloodroot has also been known as tetterwort in
America, although that name is used in Britain to refer to Greater
Celandine (Chelidonium majus). Plants are variable in leaf and
flower shape and have in the past been separated out as different
subspecies due to these variable shapes. Currently most taxonomic
treatments lump these different forms into one highly variable
species. In bloodroot, the juice is red and poisonous.
Sanguinaria canadensis, bloodroot, is a variable species growing
from 20–50 centimetres (7.9–20 in) tall, normally with one large,
sheath-like basal multi-lobed leaf up to 12 centimetres (4.7 in)
across. Bloodroot stores sap in an orange colored rhizome, that
grows shallowly under or at the soil surface. Over many years of
growth, the branching rhizome can grow into a large colony. Plants
start to bloom before the foliage unfolds in early spring and
after blooming the leaves expand to their full size and go summer
dormant in mid to late summer.
The flowers are produced from March to May, with 8-12 delicate
white petals and yellow reproductive parts. The flowers appear
over clasping leaves while blooming. The flowers are pollinated by
small bees and flies, seeds develop in elongated green pods 40 to
60 mm in length and ripen before the foliage goes dormant. The
seeds are round in shape and when ripe are black to orange-red in
Sanguinaria canadensis plants are found growing in moist to dry
woods and thickets, often on flood plains and near shores or
streams on slopes, they grow less frequently in clearings and
meadows or on dunes, and are rarely found in disturbed sites. Deer
will feed on the plants in early spring.
Reproduction and genetics
Bloodroot is one of many plants whose seeds are spread by ants, a
process called myrmecochory. The seeds have a fleshy organ called
an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their
nest, where they eat the elaiosomes, and put the seeds in their
nest debris, where they are protected until they germinate. They
also get the added bonus of growing in a medium made richer by the
ant nest debris.
Bloodroot produces benzylisoquinoline alkaloids, primarily the
toxin sanguinarine. The alkaloids are transported to and stored in
the rhizome. Comparing the biosynthesis of morphine and
sanguinarine, the final intermediate in common is
(S)-reticuline. A number of plants in Papaveraceae and
Ranunculaceae, as well as plants in the genus Colchicum (family
Colchicaceae) and genus Chondodendron (family Menispermaceae),
also produce such benzylisoquinoline alkaloids.
Plant geneticists have identified and sequenced genes which
produce the enzymes required for this production. One enzyme
involved is CYP80B1, which produces
(S)-3'-hydroxy-N-methylcoclaurine and mendococlaurine from
Bloodroot flowers are produced from March to May, with 8-12
delicate white petals and yellow stamens
Bloodroot leaves grow rapidly after the flowers die and persist
until late summer
Fruit or pod holding the seeds, in early summer
Double-flowered cultivars such as S. canadensis forma multiplex
are popular with gardeners, as their flowers last longer than
Bloodroot leaves clasped around stem in early spring while in
Sanguinaria canadensis is cultivated as an ornamental plant. The
double flowering forms are prized by gardeners for their large
showy white flowers, which are produced very early in the
gardening season. Bloodroot flower petals are shed within a day or
two of pollination so the flower display is short lived. The
double forms bloom much longer than the normal forms, the double
flowers are made up of stamens that have been changed into petal
looking like parts, making pollination more difficult.
Bloodroot was used historically by Native Americans for curative
properties as an emetic, respiratory aid, and other treatments.
In physician William Cook's 1869 work The Physiomedical
Dispensatory is recorded a chapter on the uses and preparations of
bloodroot, which described tinctures and extractions, and also
included at least the following cautionary report:
The U. S. Dispensatory says four persons lost their lives at
Bellevue Hospital, New York, by drinking largely of blood root
tincture in mistake for ardent spirits [...]
Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus), a member of the Poppy
family (Papaveraceae) was used in Colonial America as a wart
remedy. Bloodroot has been similarly applied in the past. This may
explain the multiple American and British definitions of
"Tetterwort" in 1913.
Bloodroot extracts have also been promoted by some supplement
companies as a treatment or cure for cancer, but the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration has listed some of these products among
its "187 Fake Cancer 'Cures' Consumers Should Avoid".
Canada puccoon by Sydenham Edwards from The Botanical Magazine
Toxicity to animal cells
Sanguinarine kills animal cells by blocking the action of
Na+/K+-ATPase transmembrane proteins. As a result, applying
bloodroot to the skin may destroy tissue and lead to the formation
of a large scab, called an eschar. Bloodroot and its extracts are
thus considered escharotic.
Internal use is inadvisable. Applying escharotic agents, including
bloodroot, to the skin is sometimes suggested as a home treatment
for skin cancer, these attempts can be severely disfiguring.
Salves derived from bloodroot cannot be relied on to remove an
entire malignant tumor. Microscopic tumor deposits may remain
after visible tumor tissue is burned away, and case reports have
shown that in such instances tumor has recurred and/or
In 2005, "folk healer" Dan Raber (of Georgia, United
States) was arrested and charged with causing severe bodily harm
and practicing medicine without a license for dispensing
bloodroot paste to nine women with various ailments including
breast cancer, causing severe disfiguring destruction of their
skin and underlying tissue (as well as failing to successfully
excise their tumors). Lois March, M.D. of Cordele, Georgia, was
also charged as an accomplice and had her medical license
permanently revoked for her role in assisting Raber's unlicensed
treatment by prescribing massive amounts of opiate pain
medication to his customers in order to allow them to continue
their bloodroot treatment despite the severe burning pain and
disfigurement it caused.
Numerous published, pre-clinical In Vitro and In Vivo studies have
demonstrated that Sanguinarine causes targeted apoptosis in human
cancer cells, and recommend future development of Sanguinarine as
a potential cancer treatment.
A study conducted by the Case Western Reserve University in 2000
found that low doses of sanguinarine caused this apoptosis in
cancerous human epidermoid carcinoma cells while little reaction
from normal human skin cells was observed.
Commercial uses of sanguinarine and bloodroot extract include
dental hygiene products. The United States FDA has approved the
inclusion of sanguinarine in toothpastes as an antibacterial or
anti-plaque agent. Currently, it is believed that
this use may cause leukoplakia, a premalignant oral lesion. On
24 Nov 2003, the Colgate-Palmolive Company of Piscataway, New
Jersey, United States commented by memorandum to the United States
Food and Drug Administration that then-proposed rules for levels
of sanguinarine in mouthwash and dental wash products were lower
than necessary. However, this conclusion is controversial.
Some animal food additives sold and distributed in Europe such as
Phytobiotics' Sangrovit contain sanguinarine and chelerythrine. On
14 May 2003, Cat Holmes reported in Georgia Faces that Jim
Affolter and Selima Campbell, horticulturists at the University of
Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, were
meeting with Phytobiotics to relate their research into commercial
cultivation of bloodroot.
Bloodroot is a popular red natural dye used by Native American
artists, especially among southeastern rivercane basketmakers.
The blood of the root (when cut open) was used as a dye. A break
in the surface of the plant, especially the roots, reveals a
^ "Bloodroot Wildflowers".
^ Alcantara, Joenel; Bird, David A.; Franceschi, Vincent R.;
Facchini, Peter J. (2005). "Sanguinarine Biosynthesis is
Associated with the Endoplasmic Reticulum in Cultured Opium Poppy
Cells after Elicitor Treatment". Plant Physiology 138 (1): 173–83.
doi:10.1104/pp.105.059287. JSTOR 4629815. PMC 1104173. PMID
^ KEGG PATHWAY: Alkaloid biosynthesis I - Reference pathway
^ KEGG ENZYME: 22.214.171.124
^ Native American Ethnobotany (University of Michigan - Dearborn:
Sanguinaria canadensis' . accessed 12.1.2011
^ Sanguinaria Canadensis. | Henriette's Herbal Homepage
^ "187 Fake Cancer "Cures" Consumers Should Avoid". United States
Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
^ Don't Use Corrosive Cancer Salves (Escharotics), Stephen
^ McDaniel, S.; Goldman, GD (2002). "Consequences of Using
Escharotic Agents as Primary Treatment for Nonmelanoma Skin
Cancer". Archives of Dermatology 138 (12): 1593–6.
doi:10.1001/archderm.138.12.1593. PMID 12472348.
^ Ga. Doctor Accused of Aiding Flesh-Eating Treatment, Health
Highlights: Aug. 14, 2005
^ Composite State Board of Medical Examiners (Georgia)
(2005-07-26). "Accusation against Lois March, M.D".
^ Aburai, Nobuhiro; Yoshida, Mami; Ohnishi, Motoko; Kimura,
Ken-Ichi (2010). "Sanguinarine as a Potent and Specific Inhibitor
of Protein Phosphatase 2C in Vitro and Induces Apoptosis via
Phosphorylation of p38 in HL60 Cells". Bioscience, Biotechnology,
and Biochemistry 74 (3): 548–52. doi:10.1271/bbb.90735. PMID
^ Weerasinghe, Priya; Hallock, Sarathi; Brown, Robert E.; Loose,
David S.; Buja, L. Maximilian (2012). "A model for cardiomyocyte
cell death: Insights into mechanisms of oncosis". Experimental and
Molecular Pathology. doi:10.1016/j.yexmp.2012.04.022. PMID
^ Adhami, VM; Aziz, MH; Mukhtar, H; Ahmad, N (2003). "Activation
of prodeath Bcl-2 family proteins and mitochondrial apoptosis
pathway by sanguinarine in immortalized human HaCaT
keratinocytes". Clinical cancer research 9 (8): 3176–82. PMID
^ Sun, Meng; Lou, Wei; Chun, Jae Yeon; Cho, Daniel S.; Nadiminty,
Nagalakshmi; Evans, Christopher P. et al. (2010). "Sanguinarine
Suppresses Prostate Tumor Growth and Inhibits Survivin
Expression". Genes & Cancer 1 (3): 283–92.
doi:10.1177/1947601910368849. PMC 3036540. PMID 21318089.
^ Holy, Jon; Lamont, Genelle; Perkins, Edward (2006). "Disruption
of nucleocytoplasmic trafficking of cyclin D1 and topoisomerase II
by sanguinarine". BMC Cell Biology 7: 13.
doi:10.1186/1471-2121-7-13. PMC 1444914. PMID 16512916.
^ Malikovaa, Jana; Zdarilova, Adela; Hlobilkova, Alice (2006).
"Effects of sanguinarine and chelerythrine on the cell cycle and
apoptosis". Biomedical papers of the Medical Faculty of the
University Palacky, Olomouc, Czechoslovakia 150 (1): 5–12. PMID
^ Ahmad, Nihal; Gupta, Sanjay; Husain, Mirza M.; Heiskanen, Kaisa
M.; Mukhtar, Hasan (2000). "Differential Antiproliferative and
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Cells". Clinical Cancer Research 6 (4): 1524–8. PMID 10778985.
^ Godowski, KC (1989). "Antimicrobial action of sanguinarine". The
Journal of clinical dentistry 1 (4): 96–101. PMID 2700895.
^ Southard, GL; Boulware, RT; Walborn, DR; Groznik, WJ; Thorne,
EE; Yankell, SL (1984). "Sanguinarine, a new antiplaque agent:
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^ How to Report Problems With Products Regulated by FDA
^ Kuftinec, MM; Mueller-Joseph, LJ; Kopczyk, RA (1990).
"Sanguinaria toothpaste and oral rinse regimen clinical efficacy
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^ Leukoplakia, (pdf format) hosted by the American Academy of Oral
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Native Plant Database
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin, Texas 78739
Sanguinaria canadensis L.
Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)
USDA Symbol: SACA13
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
The single bloodroot leaf and flower each rise on a separate stem,
and at first the leaf completely enwraps the flower bud. The
clear, white, many-petaled blossom may open before the leaf has
completely unwrapped, rising slightly above the leaf to a height
of 6-10 in. Leaves, which are large, round and deeply cleft,
eventually reach a height of 12-14 in. On a smooth stalk a
solitary white flower, with a golden-orange center, grows beside a
lobed basal leaf that often curls around the stalk. Roots and stem
with acrid red-orange juice.
This fragile spring flower develops and rises from the center of
its curled leaf, opening in full sun, and closing at night. Like
most members of the Poppy Family, it lasts for a relatively short
time. The red juice from the underground stem was used by Indians
as a dye for baskets, clothing, and war paint, as well as for
insect repellent. The generic name, from the Latin sanguinarius,
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Class: 0-1 ft.
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
Distribution : USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL
, GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO ,
MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD ,
TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , NB , NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: E. Que. to Man., s. to FL, AL & TX
Native Habitat: Rich, deciduous, upland & floodplain
USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Moist to mesic, well-drained, humus-rich
Conditions Comments: Bloodroots spread rapidly and make an
excellent ground cover. Mulch the plants with a thin layer of
deciduous leaves during the winter. Effective as groundcover
around the base of trees, seeds dispersed by ants.
Use Other: The red juice from the underground stem was used
by First Nations People as a dye for baskets, clothing, and war
paint, as well as for insect repellent. (Niering)
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: Rhizome (thickened roots). May be
fatal if ingested! Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, faintness,
dizziness, dilated pupils, fainting, diarrhea, heart failure. Toxic
Principle: Isoquinoline alkaloids.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Description: The most reliable method of propagation is by
seed. Plant seeds immediately after collection as they must not be
allowed to dry out. Propagate by rhizome division in either fall
or early spring. (Wear gloves and wash your hands after handling
Seed Collection: Approximate collection date in northern U.S.:
Early to mid-Jun. Seeds ripen apporximately four weeks after the
plant has flowered. Storage must be brief and the seeds must not
be allowed to dry out.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
From the National Suppliers Directory -- According to the
inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available
at the following locations:
Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations,
this plant is on display at the following locations:
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative
Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte
and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Wildflower Newsletter 1994 VOL. 11, NO.6 - Wildflower Center
Featured Non-Profit in Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, Dana Leav...
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
Bloodroot is also known as Puccoon or Red Puccoon, Indian
Paint, Redroot, Pauson and Tetterwort.
Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial
which can reach 25cm in height (10inches). Only about half that
high at the time of blooming.
Leaves: This plant has basal leaves only. Leaves can be as
wide as 20 cm (8inches). There is usually only one leaf which has
five to nine lobes. It is much smaller at the time the flower is
Flowers: The flowers have numerous parts and are up to 5cm
wide (2 inches). They are white with yellow center. Blooms first
appear in late winter and continue into early spring. The flower
usually has eight symmetrically arranged petals four large and
four smaller, but can have up to twelve and sometimes sixteen.
Fruit: A two part capsule pointed on both ends with a row
of seeds in each half. (see 'Other Images' below)
Habitat: Rich woods. Usually on banks or slopes.
Range: Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains.
This is the only species of the genus Sanguinaria. While sometimes
locally abundant, this plant is generally somewhat rare. It is
known from areas that have been little disturbed usually on hills
and mountains. A blood red juice can be extracted from the reddish
orange root, actually a rhizome, hence the name Bloodroot.
Lore: The juice from the root was used as a body paint and
dye by Native Americans. Warriors painted their faces with it and
maidens their bodies. Reportedly a woman was given as a bed mate
to a colonist at Jamestown by a local tribe and was presented
wearing only a coat of red body paint made from
Bloodroot.(Dobelis) The root juice has been used as a dye for
fabrics producing a yellow orange color that is very fast. It has
also been used as a charm. Young men of the Ponca tribe would put
the juice of the root on their palm and contrive to shake hands
with the maiden they desired to marry and in five or six days she
would be willing to marry him.(Foster & Duke) Applying the
root or juice to the skin is a questionable activity as the plant
is known to be an escharotic, a substance that kills tissue. See
Medical Uses: Native Americans, early settlers and
herbal practitioners have prescribed Bloodroot for myriad medical
conditions from skin cancers to sore throats. Its most persistent
and possibly valid use takes advantage of the flesh destroying
properties of the root juice or powered root for treating
conditions of the skin such as ringworm, warts, polyps, fungal
growths and the like. Researchers are investigating the root's
value in cancer treatment. An extract has long been used in
toothpaste and mouthwash to fight plaque and gingivitis and this
use is now sanctioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The root has been used internally, in very small doses, to
stimulate the digestive system and as an emetic. Self medication
should be avoided, as the plant can be toxic. Even small doses can
produce unwanted effects such as visual distortions. Warning:T The
FDA considers Bloodroot "unsafe" and urges that it not be used by
herbal healers. It is far to attractive a plant to dig up anyway.
(Erichsen-Brown) (Foster & Duke) (Dobelis)
Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the
northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3
vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 140.
Poppy family (Papaveraceae)
Description: This native perennial plant is about 6" tall.
It produces only basal leaves that are about 4-5" wide and across.
Each of these basal leaves is wrapped around the stalk of a single
flower (sometimes two [Colony of Plants in Bloom] stalks are
produced) as the flower begins to bloom. The basal leaves continue
to unfold to their fullest extent as the flowers wither away. Each
basal leaf is orbicular in outline and palmately veined, with 5-9
major lobes and several minor lobes along the undulating margins.
The palmate venation is fairly prominent and provides the rather
succulent leaves with a wrinkly appearance. This venation is even
more conspicuous on the lower surface, providing a reticulated
appearance. The color of the leaves on the upper surface is light
green, sometimes with greyish or bluish tints, while the lower
surface is whitish green. The round petioles are about 4" long and
rather stout. The foliage of this plant is glabrous and glaucous.
The flowering stalk is round, stout, hairless, and sometimes
slightly reddish, terminating in a single large flower. This stalk
is about 3-4" tall when the flower begins to bloom. The flower is
about 1½–3" across, consisting of 8-16 white petals, a green oval
pistil, and numerous stamens with prominent yellow anthers. The
pistil has a pale yellow stigma at its apex. There are 2 light
green sepals that are nearly as long as the petals, but they fall
off the flowering stalk as soon as the flower begins to bloom. The
blooming period occurs from early to mid-spring and lasts about 2
weeks. Each flower remains in bloom for only 1 or 2 days (when it
is sunny), and produces a fragrant scent. The seed capsule
eventually turns yellow and falls to the ground, splitting open to
release the seeds. The root system consists of thick reddish
rhizomes with coarse fibrous roots. Both the foliage and the
rhizomes contain an acrid reddish juice. This plants often forms
Cultivation: During the early to mid-spring, this plant
should have access to some sunlight, otherwise the flowers may
fail to open. After the trees begin to form leaves later in the
spring, considerable shade is tolerated. The soil should be
fertile and loamy, with average moisture levels (by woodland
[Close-up of Leaf] standards). The foliage is not affected by
disease significantly, although it will gradually wither away as
the summer progresses.
Range & Habitat: Bloodroot is a common plant that
occurs in most counties of Illinois (see Distribution Map).
Habitats include mesic deciduous woodlands, either in wooded areas
with slopes (ravines, bluffs, valley bottoms), or wooded areas
where the ground is reasonably level.
Faunal Associations: The pollen of the flowers attracts
various kinds of bees, including honeybees, Little Carpenter bees,
Halictid bees, and Andrenid bees. Other insects that visit the
flowers include Syrphid flies, bee-flies, and beetles, which feed
on the pollen (or search vainly for nectar). The seeds are
distributed by ants because of their fleshy appendages. This is a
common method of seed distribution for woodland wildflowers, as
wind speeds are greatly reduced in wooded areas. The foliage and
rhizomes contain an acrid reddish juice and are toxic.
Consequently, this plant is not often eaten by mammalian
Photographic Location: A partially-shaded flower garden
near Busey Woods in Urbana, Illinois.
Comments: Bloodroot is one of the spring ephemerals of
deciduous woodlands. It has unusual-looking, but attractive
foliage, and very showy flowers, although they are short-lived.
Across different localities, there are significant variations in
this plant, involving such characteristics as the number of petals
and size of the flowers, and the appearance of the foliage. On
rare occasions, light pink flowers are produced. The Amerindians
created a red dye from the juice of the rhizomes. The juice of
plants in this genus possesses anti-bacterial properties with
possible pharmaceutical applications, including an anti-plaque
9 April 2012
Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis
Early spring bloomers are much appreciated after a long, cold
winter. Bloodroot is one of the first wildflowers to open its
bright white flowers in Midwestern woodlands. This native plant is
at home in deciduous forests and in gardens where appropriate
conditions can be provided.
Very early in the spring, native wildflowers begin blooming in the
forests of Wisconsin. One of the most easily recognizable of these
wildflowers is bloodroot, an herbaceous perennial native to
eastern North America, from Florida up into Canada. Sanguinaria
canadensis is the only species in this genus in the poppy family
(Papaveraceae). Other common names include bloodwort, Indian
paint, puccoon, and red puccoon. This species is found in
Bloodroot and trout lilies in a woodland in southern
Wisconsin.undisturbed woodlands, on flood plains and on slopes
near streams or ponds in zones 3-8. It is generally rare, but can
be locally abundant. The reddish sap that exudes from all parts of
the plant, but especially the root, when cut is what prompted the
common name of bloodroot.
Sap (R) from the red to orange-colored rhizomes (L) gives rise to
the common name of bloodroot.This species grows in clumps,
producing leaves and flowers early in the season, then going
dormant and disappearing by midsummer. The range in the shape of
the leaves and flowers led to divisions into several subspecies,
although most taxonomists now consider this just a highly variable
species. The flowers and leaves are produced from a
shallow-growing, branching, orange-colored rhizome. The rhizome,
which is about one-half inch thick and up to four inches long,
grows slowly, eventually branching to form a large colony.
Bloodroot has morphine-like alkaloids, primarily the toxin
sanguinarine, in the rhizome. Although Native Americans used
bloodroot sap as an emetic, ingestion of bloodroot is not
recommended. Bloodroot in late bloom.It is also an escharotic, a
substance that kills tissue, and external application is a skin
irritant causing severe burning pain and disfigurement. Because of
the flesh-destroying properties of the rhizome’s sap, the fresh or
powered root was used for treating conditions of the skin such as
ringworm, warts, polyps, and fungal growths. Sanguinarine is used
in some commercial mouthwashes and toothpastes as a plaque
inhibitor. Since even small doses can produce unwanted effects, it
is considered unsafe for self medication. Bloodroot is used as a
natural red or yellow-orange dye.
The brilliant white – or rarely light pink – flowers up to 2
inches across open in early spring. The blooming period lasts
about 2 weeks. Each flower stalk produces a solitary flower with a
number of delicate, elongate petals surrounding the numerous
yellow stamens and central green pistil, with a pale yellow,
two-lobed stigma at its apex. The flower usually has eight
symmetrically arranged petals, with four large petals and four
smaller ones. But some forms have up to sixteen petals. The
flowers open up in sun but close at night or on very cloudy days
(when their bee and fly pollinators are not active). The flowers
are ephemeral, with the petals falling within a day or two of
pollination. The double forms persist longer, however, because
those extra petals are really modified stamens, which reduces the
chances of pollination – which makes these cultivars more
desirable as garden plants. There are a number of semi-double and
fully double cultivars, such as ‘Multiplex’ (= ‘Flore Pleno’); the
double types are often sterile and will not multiply, except by
Bloodroot flowers are variable, usually with 8 petals (L). Some
flowers may have 12-16 petals (C), while double forms, such as
‘Multiplex’ (R) have modified stamens that look like petals.
Bloodroot is cross-pollinated by bees and other insexts, but will
self pollinate if not visited by insects.If pollinated, the
flowers are followed by elongate seed pods. The two-part capsule
is pointed on each end, with a row of 10-15 seeds in each half.
The round, red to black seeds ripen by the time the foliage begins
to senesce. When ripe, the pods split open to scatter the seed.
The seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaisome that is
attractive to ants. These insects disperse the seeds when they
carry them back to their nests. The seeds are hauled out to the
ants’ trash dump after the elaisomes are eaten and the seeds are
protected within the pile until they germinate.
Elongated seed pods are produced (L and LC) which are filled with
reddish seeds (RC) that each have a fleshy elaisome (R) that is
attractive to ants.
Leaves and flowers are produced from each end, or branch, of the
horizontal rhizome. The plants bloom before the foliage unfolds,
with each short (2-4") flower stalk emerging wrapped by one
tightly clasping basal leaf enclosing a flower bud which can be
purple, yellow, white, or many shades of pink. The pale green to
grayish- or bluish-green, palmate leaf is shorter than the flower
pedicel, and unfurls as the flower blooms. The rounded,
multi-lobed leaves expand to their full size, up to 9 inches
across after the flowers fade and the stalk elongates to 12-15
inches tall. Conspicuous venation on the whitish green lower leaf
surface creates a reticulated appearance. The species is quite
variable, with plants having 5 to 9 deeply-scalloped major lobes
and several minor lobes along the undulating margins.
The leaves are wrapped around the flower stem when they first
emerge (L), and unfurls as the plants bloom (C) to reach their
full size after flowering.
Bloodroot leaves decline as the plant goes dormant.This native
wildflower is best grown in moist, humusy, well-drained soils in
part shade to full shade (in areas where it will receive sun for
at least a few hours in early spring before the trees leaf out).
In time it will spread to form large colonies if conditions are
appropriate. It is perfectly suited to woodland gardens or any
shady areas where the plants can be allowed to naturalize. It
combines well with other native woodland wildflowers as well as
ferns, hosta, and Virginia Bluebells to provide early season
interest before the ferns and hostas emerge. Those plants will
then cover up the bloodroot foliage as it senecenes in mid summer
when the plants go dormant.
Bloodroot for gardens should not be collected from the wild.Plants
for the garden should be obtained from reputable sources that have
not collected them in the wild. This plant can be propagated from
fresh seed which should be sown immediately ½ inch deep and kept
moist, even though it will not germinate until the following
spring (or after several months of cold stratification). It will
take 2 to 3 year for plants to reach blooming size. Colonies can
also be transplanted, but plants should not be collected from wild
populations; over-collecting has led to dramatic declines in
natural populations. They are best moved or divided as the plants
are starting to go dormant in the summer (gloves should be worn
when handling the roots, especially if they are being broken apart
for divisions). Plants should be spaced about 6 inches apart with
the rhizomes buried no more than an inch deep. It may take a year
or more for plants to re-establish unless the roots are left
undisturbed when moved.
Inventor: ELLIOTT JOHN Q [US]
Skin tumor removal and healing compositions and processes
Applicant: ARKANSAS MEDICAL RESEARCH & DE [US]
A composition which comprises principally powdered bloodroot
powdered ginger root, and zinc chloride in relatively equal parts
by weight, is applied in a number of treatments to skin lesions
such as epithelioma tumors. After a short time, the growth comes
out and a healing ointment comprising lard, lanolin, phenol and
tannic acid powder is applied to the site until healing is
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
A. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to compositions of matter and processes and
especially to ointments for removing certain types of skin cancers
and healing the site of the removed growth.
B. Prior Art
Various natural substances such as herbs or roots have beeb
proposed for ingestion to treat cancer as set forth in U.S. Pat.
No. 114,544. Sarsaparilla, sassafras bark, bloodroot are parts of
a composition described in that patent. More recent U.S. Pat. No.
4,229,437 has taught the use of a different root, namely, dried
bittersweet, together with zinc chloride to form a salve which,
according to the patent, removes certain types of skin growths
when applied topically.
U.S. Pat. No. 1,411,577 to Mullens is an ointment for external
application for unspecified conditions or diseases, there being no
mention of removal of skin growths or the like. Its ingredients
include bloodroot and zinc chloride as well as an equal part of
metallic cobalt and some glycerine to form a paste.
Ginger has also been used for many years as an ingredient for
medicines or liniments for many different medical problems such as
headache, toothache, removal of blotches and pimples, and animal
diseases. Such usage is shown in Schroeck U.S. Pat. No. 267,159;
Ward U.S. Pat. No. 95,173; Barger U.S. Pat. No. 92,248 (cholera),
Perrin U.S. Pat. No. 448,728 (panacea) and Ramsaur U.S. Pat. No.
92,209 (blotch and pimple removal).
While each of the three ingredients of the present invention have
been used as components in medicines or ointments, they have never
appeared together in the form which has been found by the present
inventor to be an extremely effective ointment for removing
certain skin growths of the malignant type.
I have discovered through repeated experimentation and treatment
of human patients that if substantially equal parts, by weight, of
powdered bloodroot, powdered ginger (kowlang) root, and zinc
chloride are formed into a paste, allowed to stand, then applied
to certain skin cancers such as epithelioma in a series of
successive treatments as detailed below, the cancerous growth or
lesion selectively becomes disengaged from the surrounding dermal
region in a number of days and may be easily removed. After
removal, I then begin treatment of the former site of the growth
with a healing ointment which comprises hog lard, lanolin,
liquefied phenol and tannic acid, as will be described later.
My epitheliomal cancer-removing ointment comprises approximately
equal parts by weight of (1) bloodroot in its powdered form such
as Penick's "Initial Line" powdered bloodroot U.S.P. distributed
by S. B. Penick and Co. of New York and Chicago, (2) powdered
ginger root and (3) zinc chloride. The ginger root used was
manufactured by S. B. Penick and Co. in its U.S.P. form. The zinc
chloride may be, for example, the U.S.P. form 1-4326 marketed by
the J. T. Baker Chemical Co. of Phillipsburg, N.J.
To make this epitheliomal cancer-removing ointment, the zinc
chloride is exposed to air for several days whereupon it becomes a
thick liquid. It is then added to the bloodroot and ginger root
and blended together to form a paste which does not run or drop.
Then the paste is allowed to set for about a week or two.
When a patient with epithelioma, malignant moles or sun spots is
treated, the ointment is applied with an applicator to the lesion
which, at first, appears to be, externally, very small. The day
after, the previously-applied ointment is removed by swabbing with
a cotton-tipped applicator which has been dipped in rubbing
alcohol. An additional amount of fresh growth-removing ointment is
again applied to the lesion. In the days following, the treatment
is repeated in the same way. These successive applications of the
removing ointment result in the lesion appearing to have a
progressively larger external aspect. Depending upon the original
size of the lesion, the period of enlargement may range from 4-8
days, for example. When the lesion maintains dimensional
stability, it usually is ready to fall out and may easily be
At this juncture, I have found that it is highly advantageous to
use a second healing-promoting ointment. This ointment is made by
mixing one half pound each of hog lard and lanolin (hydrous)
U.S.P. grade 1-2253 such as the product distributed by the J. T.
Baker Company mentioned above. To this combination 15-20 drops of
liquefied phenol U.S.P. grade as distributed by J. T. Baker or
Merck, for example, is added. Liquefied phenol is 89% phenol and
11% water. Then 1/3 of a teaspoon of food grade gallotannic acid
powder such as 1-0380 marketed by J. T. Baker and one oz. of white
beeswax U.S.P. grade such as #0207 cakes sold by Humco Laboratory
of Texarkana, Tex. are added. The ingredients are put into a
double boiler and heated for 30-60 minutes until the mixture
becomes entirely liquid, the ingredients being continually
stirred. It is then allowed to cool whereupon it solidifies and
becomes a salve or ointment.
This salve is applied by the patient to the site of the former
lesion twice daily. To prevent scarring, it is important to insure
that no excessive phenol remains on the healing skin, so that
after it is applied, it is washed off quickly with alcohol. After
each three days of applying the healing salve, the patient should
return to the doctor for a check-up.
A 62 year old white male had two epithelioma cancers; one one the
nose (basal cell) which was 4 cm before and 6 cm after treatment
and the second on his neck (squamous cell) which was 1/2 in.
before and 11/2 in. after treatment. The removal salve was first
applied on Feb. 2, and was treated with it each consecutive day
from the 2nd to the 10th. On the 16th of Feb., both lesions were
out and treatment with the healing salve began. On March 3, they
A 52 year old white male with a basal cell on the right cheek.
First treatment was March 1 and was continued through March 4th.
On March 12th, the lesion was out and it was dressed with the
healing ointment. It was then applied every day until April 18th,
the day it was healed.
Extraction of protopine from plant, and its manufacture of
medicinal preparation and use
The invention discloses a preparation and application of macleyine
and other medicine preparation extract from plants, its character
lies in: it extracts macleyine with purity of 98% from bloodroot,
and part of barberry family and buckthorn plants, and produces
solid preparation, injection preparation compound with medicine
accessories, the product can be used for curing heart and brain
vessel diseases, and AD sufferer, at the same time, the product
also has functions of analgesia, anticholinesterase functions and
it can advances the bile secretion, and so on.
An herbal composition for treating menopausal symptoms in a woman
includes yarrow, damiana, skullcap, chaste tree berry, wild yam,
corn silk, cramp bark, bloodroot, fenugreek, feverfew, cardamom,
and panax ginseng. The herbal composition may either be in a
liquid dosage form or in a solid dosage form. Further disclosed is
a method for treating menopausal symptoms in a woman using the
aforementioned herbal composition. The method includes orally
administering the herbal composition, one to two times per day, to
Bloodroot alkaloid dental plaque-proof mouthwash
The invention relates to a bloodroot alkaloid dental plaque-proof
mouth wash, which comprises trisodium citrate.dihydrate, citric
acid anhydride, alcohol, polyoxyethylene (62)-polyoxypropylene
(39)-polyoxyethylene (62) polyether, polyoxyethylene ether (20)
sorbitan monooleate, essence, zinc chloride, glycerol, saccharin,
bloodroot extract (1 percent) and refined water. The mouthwash is
spitted after being kept in the mouth for 1 to 2 minutes. The pH
value of the mouthwash is 4 to 5.6, and therefore, the mouthwash
is very stable, can effectively absorb dental plaques, thereby
playing a dental plaque-proof role.
The present invention relates to a blood grassroots alkaloids,
anti-plaque mouthwash, belongs to the field of oral health care.
The plaque will lead to various diseases such as dental caries,
In order to prevent the plaque, it is necessary to clean the
But currently, domestic and outside mouthwash many types of water,
but a very effective anti-plaque mouthwash is rare.
The object of the present invention is to provide a pH value of
from 4 to 5.6, very stable, dental plaque, which can effectively
absorb play an anti-plaque blood grassroots alkaloids anti-plaque
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:
The present invention relates to a blood grassroots alkaloids
anti-plaque mouthwash is tri-sodium citrate dihydrate, citric
anhydride, ethanol, polyoxyethylene (62) polyoxypropylene (39)
polyoxyethylene (62) polyethylene ether, polyoxyethylene vinyl
ether (20) sorbitan monooleic acid ester, flavor, zinc chloride,
glycerin, saccharin, blood grassroots extract (1%), and purified
Containing spit in the mouth after one minute.
Lift the etiology of dental caries, periodontitis, doctors will be
referred to a single word: "plaque. Plaque is a thin film on the
surface of the teeth contains many bacteria.
Its formation can be divided into three steps: First, in the
saliva in the mouth to form a film on the tooth surface (its
formation speed quickly, on the just cleaned teeth cooked minutes
formation); then, intraoral The bacterial species ordered
adsorption Ordering in this layer on the film; Finally, bacterial
growth and reproduction in this layer of saliva film gradually
cast the type and quantity of bacteria is gradually increased to
become mature plaque.
Individual bacteria in the dental plaque bacteria associated with
oral, by virtue of the the plaque layer unique film structure,
various bacteria firmly adhering to the tooth surface and can not
be washed out or rinse out, difficult to remove.
The same time, the connection between the membrane of bacteria is
also very close, able to resist the defense capabilities of the
human body and the killing effect of the drug, and thus long-term
survival in the oral cavity. Harmful bacteria in the plaque
gradually increased, and can lead to the various diseases of the
teeth and gums.
4 to 5.6, the pH value of the present invention is very stable,
which can effectively absorb the dental plaque, and play a role in
Below in conjunction with the embodiment of the present invention
will be further described.
Example 1: for each mouthwash the ratio of the respective
components of the water as follows: tri-sodium citrate dihydrate
0.3%, 0.02% of citric anhydride, ethanol 12%, polyoxyethylene (62)
polyoxypropylene (39) polyoxypropylene ethylene (62) Polyether
0.3% polyoxyethylene ether (20) sorbitan monooleate 0.3% 0.5%,
flavor, zinc chloride and 0.4%, glycerol 5.0%, 0.10% saccharin,
blood grassroots extract ( 1%) 5.0%, and the balance purified
Made mouthwash directly after mouthwash containing spit in the
mouth after 1-2 minutes.
For 10 consecutive days, every morning and evening, dental caries
pain eased significantly.
Example 2: The ratio of the each mouthwash respective
components is as: tri-sodium citrate dihydrate 0.2%, 0.01% of the
citric anhydride, ethanol 10%, polyoxyethylene (62)
polyoxypropylene (39) polyoxypropylene ethylene (62) Polyether
0.2% polyoxyethylene ether (20) sorbitan monooleate 0.2% 0.2%,
flavor, zinc chloride and 0.2%, glycerol 3.0%, 0.05% saccharin,
blood grassroots extract ( 1%) 3.0%, and the balance purified
Made mouthwash directly after mouthwash containing spit in the
mouth after 1-2 minutes.
Long-term use, gingival inflammation disappeared a month later,
the plaque did not continue to increase.
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