Historical uses of Red Root

Historical uses of Red Root


Red Root (Ceanothus Americanus) is a beautiful white flowering shrub native to the Eastern United States that sports a long, reddish root famed for its curative properties. New Jersey Tea is another common name for Red Root, because during the Revolutionary War, American colonists used the leaves of Ceanothus Americanus as a substitute for traditional black tea leaves. This plant can also be known as: Wild Snowball, Mountain Sweet, Mountain Lilac, Redshank, Snow Brush, Desert Buckthorn, and Buckbrush.  


Red Root


Herbalists have used the root and root bark for its astringent, expectorant, and sedative qualities for centuries. Yet Red Root was initially discovered for its medicinal virtue by the Native Americans who used it for a wide variety of ailments. 

Native Americans would use Red Root Tea to treat: colds, fevers, pneumonia, digestive ailments, toothaches, catarrh, sore throats, skin cancer, venereal sores, and even urinary tract infections. The Chippewa Indians used Red Root to treat shortness of breath, bloating, and constipation. The Iroquois Indians used Red Root to treat diarrhea, colds, and to improve blood flow, while the Cherokee Indians used Red Root as a general digestive tonic. 

Historically, Red Root has also been a traditional remedy to help reduce nosebleeds and uterine bleeding, due to its astringent properties which help constrict ruptured capillaries, thereby reducing bleeding.

Today, herbalists will use Red Root for its mucus-clearing and antispasmodic properties, as it makes an excellent tonic for asthma, whopping cough, chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, colds, sore throats, and general coughing. The antispasmodic properties also allow the muscles of the digestive tract to perform at their best, thereby also helping with abdominal pain, gas, bloating, constipation, and IBS. 

We here at the Phoenix Aurelius Research Academy love to use Red Root to help the lymphatic system, as it is one of the best herbs to treat a variety of lymphatic system disorders. It is particularly useful for swollen and congested lymph nodes, which tend to happen after any prolonged illness. Red Root is also great at flushing out dead cellular tissue and stimulating circulation. If you suffer from feeling cold all the time, Red Root can help warm your system right up! It is also supposedly quite effective at removing parasites, particularly worms, from the lymphatic system. 


Red Root


 Some Other Things To Know About Red Root:

- Don't confuse it with Bloodroot, which sometimes will be called Redroot. Bloodroot comes from the Sanguinaria Canadensis plant.

-The leaves and root of Red Root are bitter to the taste, being an astringent herb.

-The root has been used to dye wool to a cinnamon red color. 

-Red Root is very hardy, and the roots can grow to a diameter of 8 inches.

-Red Root is one of the first plants to grow back following a wildfire.


Red Root 


In general, Red Root is considered safe even when used over long periods of time. While most adults have nothing to worry about when taking Red Root, it is important to keep in mind the following: Like many other herbs, pregnant or breastfeeding mamas should avoid consuming Red Root. It is also not recommended to consume Red Root if you are on blood-thinning medications, or if you rely on iron supplements, as Red Root may prevent iron absorption.



    Danahy A, MS, RDN. Red root: Uses, benefits, side effects, and dosage. Healthline. Published April 13, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/red-root

    Jon Yaneff CNP. Red root (Ceanothus americanus): Health benefits, uses, and side effects. Doctors Health Press - Daily Free Health Articles and Natural Health Advice. Published August 6, 2018.  https://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health/red-root-ceanothus-americanus-health-benefits-uses-and-side-effects/

    Seward M. 6 promising red Root Herb Benefits. Healthy Focus. Published March 9, 2018. Accessed May 12, 2022. https://healthyfocus.org/6-red-root-benefits/

    Lymphatic herbs: Ceanothus, red root for healthy lymph function. Nitty Gritty Life. Published May 7, 2017. Accessed May 12, 2022. https://nittygrittylife.com/lymphatic-herbs-ceanothus-red-root/

    How to Use Red Root to Detox (and remove parasites from lymphatic system). Eat Beautiful. Published May 21, 2017. Accessed May 12, 2022. https://eatbeautiful.net/use-red-root-detox/