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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1414; doi:10.3390/ijms17091414

Sanguinaria canadensis: Traditional Medicine, Phytochemical Composition, Biological Activities and Current Uses

1
Southern Cross Plant Science, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
2
School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
3
School of Pharmacy, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Gold Coast, QLD 4222, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chang Won Choi
Received: 22 July 2016 / Revised: 11 August 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 27 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Bioactives and Nutraceuticals)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2599 KB, uploaded 27 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

Sanguinaria canadensis, also known as bloodroot, is a traditional medicine used by Native Americans to treat a diverse range of clinical conditions. The plants rhizome contains several alkaloids that individually target multiple molecular processes. These bioactive compounds, mechanistically correlate with the plant’s history of ethnobotanical use. Despite their identification over 50 years ago, the alkaloids of S. canadensis have not been developed into successful therapeutic agents. Instead, they have been associated with clinical toxicities ranging from mouthwash induced leukoplakia to cancer salve necrosis and treatment failure. This review explores the historical use of S. canadensis, the molecular actions of the benzophenanthridine and protopin alkaloids it contains, and explores natural alkaloid variation as a possible rationale for the inconsistent efficacy and toxicities encountered by S. canadensis therapies. Current veterinary and medicinal uses of the plant are studied with an assessment of obstacles to the pharmaceutical development of S. canadensis alkaloid based therapeutics. View Full-Text
Keywords: black salve; sanguinarine; Sanguinaria canadensis; bloodroot; herbal; escharotic; skin cancer; alkaloid black salve; sanguinarine; Sanguinaria canadensis; bloodroot; herbal; escharotic; skin cancer; alkaloid
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Croaker, A.; King, G.J.; Pyne, J.H.; Anoopkumar-Dukie, S.; Liu, L. Sanguinaria canadensis: Traditional Medicine, Phytochemical Composition, Biological Activities and Current Uses. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1414.

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