Photo by Natasha G

Earl Chinnici ~
The featured photo today is of Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot) and I’m confident the opening lines from one of my works-in-progress, Skin Cancer, Black Salve, and Me, will help make sense of why I chose this photo for today’s article.
Convinced three blemishes on my left arm were cancers, I decided to evict them with the help of a certain drawing salve. I believe most people refer to it as black salve. I prefer to call it bloodroot salve after one of its ingredients, the herbaceous perennial Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot). The other ingredients of the blend I chose, namely antimony, galangal, and zinc chloride, do not in my humble opinion, lend well to a poetic salve name becoming of this author.
Using bloodroot salve to remove skin cancer is controversial, but I’ve been around long enough to realize the science of medicine is no more static than any science. Some things are widely accepted while others are the subject of relentless debate. We can all surely think of one or more substances or plants once widely used and legal, then prohibited and fought against vehemently, only to be legalized again later. Besides, I do not have a primary physician or insurance and even if I did, skin cancer removal might not qualify as an emergency procedure. Bloodroot salve seemed most plausible for me. I do not claim this was a wise decision, but I’m satisfied with the outcome and will probably choose the same again if presented with similar circumstances.

(This work was inadvertently put on hold after my home was destroyed during Hurricane Irma. I might get back to work on it soon. Since it is a short non-fiction, it’s likely my work-in-progress with the least resistance to becoming a completed product.)