Sunday, April 10, 2016

Blood root

     Spring has begun and as usual I stay outside as much as I can doing different yard projects. One of my projects that I want to accomplish this year is a raised vegetable and herb garden. While visiting a local nursery and getting some ideas of what herbs I wanted to purchase I came across blood root.
     To learn more about this blood root I came home and begun my search. If you have done some hiking in some of the forest of eastern North America then you may have came across blood root and not know it.
     Before going any further in to my research I want to warn the readers to be cautious when using or handling blood root. Please be knowledgeable. Do your research and read, read, read. Also talk with someone who has the experience in using such a herb. An overdose of blood root could be fatal. Also be cautious in using it on your skin because to some people it can cause skin irritation such as poison oak or ivy. It can burn the skin esp. those with sensitive skin. It is not recommended to be use around the eyes, the lips or genitals. As the writer and publisher of this article and blog, I do not recommend any of these usages that I mention in this article. This was only for research and educational purposes. Always check with your primary doctor before trying any herb.
"It has a lovely white flower and produces only a single leaf and a flowering scape about 6 inches high. When the leaf first appears it is wrapped round the flower bud and is a greyish-green colour covered with a downy bloom - Leaves palmate five to nine lobed, 6 to 10 inches long. After flowering the leaves increase in size, the underside paler showing prominent veins. The white flower is wax-like with golden stamens. " - Botanicial. com 
     Blood root is also known as bloodwort, red puccoon root, pauson, tetterwort, sweet slumber, snakebite, indian plant, coon root. 
     Many tribes of the Native Americans found them useful and were respected in their daily life. The most popular known fact is that Native Americans would use the root juice in their face paint and dying their clothes. Due to the fact of the skin irritations that comes with using blood root some scholars believe that the red juice had to be mixed with another ingredient(s) to make the body paint. The popular belief is that they use an oil based ingredient mixed with the blood root. 
    To the Ponca Indians of South Dakota and Nebraska blood root was thought of as a love charm. The would rub the juice on a palm of a young male. The male would then touch a girl of interest and they believed within 5 to 6 days the girl would be willing to marry them. 
    The Penobscot would take pieces of dried root and string them together then hang around the neck to prevent bleeding.
    The Chippewa or Ojibwe of Canada and the United States; the Great Lakes area would mix it with Blue Cohosh by heating and boiling it into a liquid form to take for stomach cramps.
    Seneca tribes would make a wash of the root with a small amount of wood ashes added and then use it to wash the uterus during childbirth.
    The Mohawk tribes made an infusion of the dried root for earaches.    
    In 1612 John Smith wrote in a report that a male guest would be given a bed. A native woman was painted with blood root and oil then she would be sent to him as a bed fellow. There is a folklore legend says that a tribal woman was presented to a colonist at Jamestown as a bed mate. She was coated in blood root and this was the reason that the Native Americans were called Red Skins by the colonists then on. Of course this is only a legend with no liable facts to the story except what John Smith wrote.
    Blood root was also important to those who practice Voodoo, Hoodoo and Root work. It was considered a protector of marriage and was used in promoting harmony with extended family members especial with the in-laws. It could be used in preventing other people from interfering in your marriage. Sounds like a good idea that most of us could use. 
    The blood root varies in color. The darker red to brownish color roots were considered to be the male or the King root while the roots of lighter orange to pinkish color being the female or Queen root. You can combine a King and Queen root together in a single sachet or cloth bag which must be of red flannel and placed underneath the troubled couples' mattress. This was used to encourage a healthy martial sex life. You can also place a blood root up over your door to encourage those who enter your home to respect your marriage. If you are afraid that some individual is attempting to break up your marriage you can sew some dried blood root into your's and your spouse's pillows.
    Just as white sage is burned for cleansing an area of negativity energy you can use dried blood root in the same manner. It is thought to cleanse any area of negative energy. You could also place blood root around the house out of reach of children or pets to keep any negative energy from your home. Some people have been known to wear it around one's neck for the same reason.  Planting blood root near the doors of your home can protect your home. If you are doing a spell that requires blood then you can use the juice of the blood root instead. The dried root can be pounded into a powder form and then add water to reach a desire consistency. Again a word of caution in using blood root. It can burn or cause a rash when it comes in contact with your skin.
    Through-out mankind's medicinal history blood root has been used for many things from treating ulcers, ring worms, skin cancer, cramps, vomiting, coughs and sore throat. It had also been used in tooth paste at one time and Europe used it as an antibacterial agent in their meat production. You can purchase dried blood root, tinctures, infusions and oil through the internet today but again please.... do your research and ask questions. Knowledge is everything.
     

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