Dermatologic uses of bloodroot: a review and reappraisal.

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Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is a plant, native to North America, containing bioactive compounds that interrupt biological processes. It has been around for centuries and is known for its medicinal properties. Today, naturopathic remedies are becoming more and more popular, especially for skin ailments. There are an alarming number of online vendors marketing their bloodroot-containing products as cures for skin cancer without any scientific evidence supporting such claims. Clinical data concerning the efficacy of bloodroot primarily come from case studies with unfavorable outcomes involving patients who self-treated with bloodroot-containing black salves. However, recent preclinical studies have concluded that sanguinarine, the active component of bloodroot, shows positive evidence of being an efficacious treatment for skin cancers at micromolar doses. This article reviews the mechanism of action of bloodroot as a skin cancer treatment, its misuse in clinical dermatology, and the FDA's stance on products containing bloodroot that are marketed and sold to laypersons. Members of the public should be made aware of the dangers of self-treating with bloodroot-containing products through effective communication and education by clinicians.

View the full article @ International journal of dermatology

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