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What Is Bloodroot Used for Today?
Herbalists frequently recommend bloodroot pastes and salves for the treatment of warts . Bloodroot is an escharotic, that is to say a scab-producing substance, and it functions much like commercial wart plasters containing salicylic acid. Although there has not been any real scientific study of the use of bloodroot for warts, based on its escharotic effects, it could be helpful.
One constituent of bloodroot, sanguinarine, appears to possess topical antibiotic properties. 1 On this basis, the FDA has approved the use of bloodroot in commercially available toothpastes and oral rinses to inhibit the development of dental plaque and periodontal disease (gingivitis). However, the evidence that it really helps remains incomplete and inconsistent. 2 On a similar note, one very preliminary study found suggestive evidence that use of a toothpaste containing sanguinaria plus fluoride is more effective for cavity prevention than fluoride alone. 3 Bloodroot is also often combined with other herbs in cough syrups. Some herbalists recommend drinking bloodroot tea for respiratory ailments, but others consider the herb to be too unpredictable in its side effects.
- Godowski KC. Antimicrobial action of sanguinarine. J Clin Dent. 1(4):96-101.
- Kopczyk RA, Abrams H, Brown AT, Matheny JL, Kaplan AL. Clinical and microbiological effects of a sanguinaria-containing mouthrinse and dentifrice with and without fluoride during 6 months of use. J Periodontol. 62(10):617-22.
- Hong SJ, Jeong SS, Song KB. Effects of sanguinaria in fluoride-containing dentifrices on the remineralisation of subsurface carious lesion in vitro. Int Dent J. 55(3):128-32.