This next flower I want to talk about is called Bloodroot. Scary part is that it grows in the U.S., unlike some other dealy plants that are found overseas.
Photo credit: Matt Wade
Commonly known as bloodroot, Sanguinaria grows wild in eastern North America. Native Americans used the blood-red roots as an ornamental dye, but they also used it to induce abortions. Enough of it will put you in a coma.
People more recently have taken to using it as a home remedy for skin cancer, with horrible results. Bloodroot contains a chemical called sanguarine, which, in addition to being a dangerous toxin, is an escharotic substance. Escharotics kill tissue and slough it off as a creamy pulp, leaving behind a dark black scar called an eschar. In other words, putting bloodroot on your skin causes your skin cells to kill themselves.
The same thing happens internally. The chemical disrupts an enzyme called Na+/K+-ATPase, which does the important job of pumping sodium out of cells and pumping potassium in. When that doesn’t happen, all functions break down.
So remember that if you are going to add some pretty flowers in the kitchen pot, just make sure that they are not the poisonous kind...OK?
Coffee out on the patio this morning.