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Bloodroot is a flowering plant that grows in North America. The root can be taken as an extract, pill, or powder.


There aren’t any advised doses for bloodroot.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Gingivitis and Plaque —may prevent plaque and gingivitis1-10

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe to take small doses of bloodroot for a short period of time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period of time.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



A. Gingivitis and Plaque

1. Wennström J, Lindhe J. Some effects of a Sanguinarine-containing mouthrinse on developing plaque and gingivitis. J Clin Periodontol. 1985 Nov;12(10):867-872.

2. Etemadzadeh H, Ainamo J. Lacking anti-plaque efficacy of 2 sanguinarine mouth rinses. J Clin Periodontol. 1987 Mar;14(3):176-180.

3. Southard GL, Parsons LG, et al. Effect of sanguinaria extract on development of plaque and gingivitis when supragingivally delivered as a manual rinse or under pressure in an oral irrigator. J Clin Periodontol. 1987 Aug;14(7):377-80. Erratum in: J Clin Periodontol 1988 Jan;15(1):83.

4. Mauriello SM, Bader JD. Six-month effects of a sanguinarine dentifrice on plaque and gingivitis. J Periodontol. 1988 Apr;59(4):238-243.

5. Harper DS, Mueller LJ, et al. Clinical efficacy of a dentifrice and oral rinse containing sanguinaria extract and zinc chloride during 6 months of use. J Periodontol. 1990 Jun;61(6):352-358.

6. Kopczyk RA, Abrams H, et al. Clinical and microbiological effects of a sanguinaria-containing mouthrinse and dentifrice with and without fluoride during 6 months of use. J Periodontol. 1991 Oct;62(10):617-622.

7. Cullinan MP, Powell RN, et al. Efficacy of a dentifrice and oral rinse containing sanguinaria extract in conjunction with initial periodontal therapy. Aust Dent J. 1997 Feb;42(1):47-51.

8. Tenenbaum H, Dahan M, et al. Effectiveness of a sanguinarine regimen after scaling and root planing. J Periodontol. 1999 Mar;70(3):307-311.

9. González Begné M, Yslas N, et al. Clinical effect of a Mexican sanguinaria extract (Polygonum aviculare L.) on gingivitis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Jan;74(1):45-51.

10. Pithon MM, Sant'Anna LI, et al. Assessment of the effectiveness of mouthwashes in reducing cariogenic biofilm in orthodontic patients: a systematic review. J Dent. 2015 Mar;43(3):297-308.

Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO CAM Review Board  Last Updated: 2/14/2020