Botanical Name: Lachnanthes tinctoria
Species: L. caroliniana
Synonyms: Gyrotheca capitata. Gyrotheca tinctoria. Wool Flower. Red Root. Paint Root. Spirit Weed.
Common Names: Carolina redroot or Bloodroot.
Parts Used: Root, herb.
Habitat: Lachnanthes tinctoria, a plant indigenous to the United States of America, growing in sandy swamps along the Atlantic coast, from Florida to New Jersey and Rhode Island, and also found in Cuba, blossoming from June to September, according to locality.
Lachnanthes tinctoria is a perennial herb, 1 1/2 to 2 feet high, the upper portion whitewoolly, hence one of its local names: Woolflower. The rhizome is about 1 inch in length and of nearly equal thickness, and bears a large number of long, coarse, somewhat waxy, deep-red roots, yielding a red dye, to which its popular names of Paintroot and Redroot are due.
The leaves are mostly borne in basal rosettes and are somewhat succulent, 1/5 to 3/5 inch wide and reduced to bracts on the upper part of the stem. The flowers are in a close, woolly cyme, the ovary inferior, the perianth sixparted, the sepals narrower than the petals, the stamens three, alternately with the petals on long filaments; the style is solitary, threadlike, its stigma slightly lobed; the fruit, a three-celled, many seeded, rounded capsule…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Constituents: The root yields a fine red dye and a little resin, but so far no analysis determining the nature of its specific constituents has been made: they are, however, quite active, producing a peculiar form of cerebral stimulation or narcosis.
The drug has a somewhat acrid taste, but no odour.
‘The root,’ says Millspaugh, ‘was esteemedan invigorating tonic by the American aborigines, especially by the Seminole tribe, who use it, it is said, to cause brilliancy and fluency of speech. A tincture of the root has been recommended in typhus and typhoid fevers, pneumonia, severe forms of brain disease,’ rheumatic wry-neck and laryngeal cough.’
The drug is employed for various nervous disorders. A homoeopathic tincture is prepared from the whole fresh plant, while flowering. Doses varying from a few drops of the tincture to a drachm, cause mental exhilaration, followed by ill-humour, vertigo and headache.
The drug Lachnanthes is prepared from the entire plant, but especially from the rhizome and roots of the plant.
Other Uses: Apart from its narcotic uses among the Indians, it has been used in the United States for dyeing purposes.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.