Herb: Red Root

Latin name: Lachnanthes carolina

Synonyms: Lachnanthes tinctoria

Family: Haemodoraceae (Bloodwort Family)

Medicinal use of Red Root:

The root is astringent, narcotic, tonic and nervine. Taken internally it produces a peculiar form of cerebral stimulation and narcosis, it was often used as a narcotic by some native North American Indian tribes. It is also used in the treatment of bowel complaints, coughs, pneumonia and the spitting of blood. A strong decoction has been used as a wash for cancer. A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the whole fresh plant, harvested when in flower.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Sandy and peaty shores and swamps.

Other uses of Red Root:

A red dye is obtained from the root.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a warm greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.

Cultivation of Red Root:

Sandy and peaty shores and swamps.

Known hazards of Lachnanthes carolina:


Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.