Bloodwort is an erect herb, 30 to 60 cms high, with fine soft, hair. It has leafy, grooved stems and alternate, oblong tapering leaves, 5 to 10 cms long. Its flowers are small and crowded with thin scales. The fruits are' flat, oblong shaped and shining.
The herb contains volatile oil, lactones, flavonoids, tannins, coumarins, saponins, sterols, a bitter glyco alkaloid, cyanidin, amino acids and acid sugars.
BIoodwort is bitter, aromatic, stimulant and tonic. It is useful in arresting bleeding. It induces copious perspiration.
Bloodwort is one of the best known herbal remedies for fevers. A hot infusion of the herb induces perspiration which cools fevers and expels toxins.
The herb is useful in treating high blood pressure. Like all sweat-inducing remedies, bIoodwort encourages blood flow to the skin which helps lower blood pressure. It is the alkaloid in bloodwort which has been reported to lower blood pressure.
Bloodwort is a valuable remedy for several stomach disorders like colic, heartburn and flatulence. About 30 grams of its decoction may be taken every hour in the treatment of these disorders. A dessertspoon of fresh juice of the herb, taken thrice a day, aids digestion and gastric disorders.
As it arrests bleeding, a decoction or infusion of the herb is useful in bleeding piles. The powdered leaves and flower-heads are useful as carminative to relieve flatulence when given in 6 to 30 centigram doses.
A hot infusion of the leaves is a powerful emmenagogue (a drug which induces menses) and thus useful in promoting and regulating menstrual cycles. In case of irregular menstrual flow, about 30 grams of decoction of the herb can be taken every hour with beneficial results. The essential oil extracted from its flowers has proved beneficial in the treatment of disorders of the female reproductive organs. About 5 to 30 drops of the oil can be taken in treating such disorders.
Bloodwort is an effective wound healer. The tannins in it are probably responsible for this property. It is good for all kinds of bleeding, both external and internal.