SANGRE DE DRAGO-SANGRE DE DRAGO-CROTON LECHLERI

Croton lechleri Muell.-Arg. Euphorbiaceae. "Sangre de drago", "Sangre de grado", Dragon's blood". The latex is used to heal wounds, and for vaginal baths before childbirth. It is also recommended for intestinal and stomach ulcers (RVM). It yields the hemostatic sap that accelerates wound healing (NIC). For leucorrhea, fractures, and piles (RAR). Page 58, Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary by James Duke & R Vazquez. Sangre de Drago also called Sangre de Grado, is a medicinal blood-like latex tapped by indigenous people, in the manner of rubber, from a tree found in the rainforests of the Upper Amazon.

 

 

 

The source of this valuable healing agent is Croton lechleri, a tree belonging to the Euphorbiaceae that grows up to fifty feet in height. Its heart-shaped leaves have raised veins with two glands at their base that change color with age from deep green to yellow/orange and red. Croton lechleri is encountered at elevations between 1,200 and 4,500 in the wet foothills forests. It is also found on the other side of the Andes, in the Pacific rainforest of northern Ecuador. In many regions were the tree is found, it is placed among the most valued medicines in the local native's people forest pharmacy.

The "blood" tapped from the trunk and branches has a broad spectrum of uses, most of which are corroborated independently from tribe to tribe. It is applied externally to cuts to stop bleeding and accelerate healing, to disinfect wounds and skin infections, while forming a protective, flexible 'liquid bandage' when dried. It is also used as a mouthwash for bleeding and ulcerations of the gums, tooth infections and to protect the teeth from cavities. A swab of cotton soaked in Sangre de Drago is placed in a painful cavity to kill the pain and disinfect it.

Natives use it quite often to treat diarrhea, gastritis, and ulcers. Studies have shown that procyanidins are the major constituents of Sangre de Drago (~90% of dried weight),several of which have been characterized as novel proanthocyanidins compounds.

 

To date, four U.S. patents have been filed on Sangre de Drado sap, two for wound healing and two describing on the antiviral activity of a proanthocyanidin polymer chemical extracted from the resin and bark of the tree, for use in treating animals and humans infected with respiratory syncytial virus, influenza A, B and C, and Herpes simplex virus. The latest patent continued to document the antiviral properties, uses, and clinical testing and results of the extract from Sangre de Grado resin and bark against numerous viruses. Scientists have since found that as a little as a single drop of Sangre de Drago can diminish pain resulting from insect bites and stings, lacerations, burns, and plant reactions for up to six hours. The investigators noted that the sap acts as an analgesic agent by stopping the activation and stimulation of sensory nerve fibers that send pain signals to the brain. These scientist pointed out that it also inhibits the inflammatory response of tissue to chemicals released by these same nerves, and that it does so when applied either externally on the skin or when mixed with water and swallowed to treat gastrointestinal problems. Ongoing research would soon provide more insights into the mechanisms through which Sangre de Drago works.

SANGRE DE DRAGO-SANGRE DE DRAGO-CROTON LECHLERI

Sangre de grado is a medium-sized to large tree that grows from 10–20 m high in the upper Amazon region of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. Although tall, the trunk is usually less than 30 cm in diameter and is covered by smooth, mottled bark. It has large, heart-shaped, bright-green leaves and unique, greenish-white flowers on long stalks. Its Peruvian name, sangre de grado, means “blood of the dragon” (in Spanish). In Ecuador, it’s named sangre de drago (which means “dragon’s blood” as well). When the trunk of the tree is cut or wounded, a dark red, sappy resin oozes out as if the tree is bleeding—earning this local name. The genus Croton is a large one, with 750 species of trees and shrubs distributed across the tropical and subtropical regions of both hemispheres. Crotons are rich in active alkaloids, and several species are well-known medicinal plants used as purgatives and tonics.

Sangre de grado's red sap or latex (and also its bark) has a long history of indigenous use in the rainforest and in South America. The earliest written reference dates its use to the 1600s, when Spanish naturalist and explorer P. Bernabé Cobo found that the curative power of the sap was widely known throughout the indigenous tribes of Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador. For centuries, the sap has been painted on wounds to staunch bleeding, to accelerate healing, and to seal and protect injuries from infection. The sap dries quickly and forms a barrier, much like a "second skin." It is used externally by indigenous tribes and local people in Peru for wounds, fractures, and hemorrhoids, internally for intestinal and stomach ulcers, and as a douche for vaginal discharge. Other indigenous uses include treating intestinal fevers and inflamed or infected gums, in vaginal baths before and after childbirth, for hemorrhaging after childbirth, and for skin disorders.

Sangre de grado resin and bark are used in traditional medicine in South America today in much the same manner as indigenous ones. In Peruvian herbal medicine it is recommended for hemorrhaging, as an antiseptic vaginal douche and, topically, for healing wounds. It is also used internally for ulcers in the mouth, throat, intestines and stomach; as an antiviral for upper respiratory viruses, stomach viruses and HIV; internally and externally for cancer and, topically, for skin disorders, insect bites and stings. In Brazilian traditional medicine the sap currently is used for wounds, hemorrhaging, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, and as a general tonic.

Sangre de grado resin or sap contains phytochemicals including proanthocyanidins (antioxidants), simple phenols, diterpenes, phytosterols, and biologically active alkaloids and lignans Scientists have attributed many of the biologically active properties of the sap (especially its wound-healing capacity) to two main "active" constituents: an alkaloid named taspine, and a lignan named dimethylcedrusine.

Of course, botanists, herbalists, and naturopaths would disagree with such reductionist conclusions (and often do); in this particular case, the matter is actually proven by science. Noted author and ex-USDA economic botanist Dr. James Duke summed this up eloquently, saying, "I like the comments on dragon's blood, and would add one further note: in addition to the proanthocyanadins (including Pycnogenol) and taspine, there's another active ingredient - dimethylcedrusine. While each of these alone - dimethylcedrusine, Pycnogenol and taspine - was shown to effectively heal wounded rats (with squares of skin exfoliated, i.e., peeled off) by European scientists, the whole dragon's blood was shown to speed healing four times faster. The whole was better than the sum of its parts. Synergy makes the whole herb stronger; diversity makes the rainforest stronger."

The taspine alkaloid from sangre de grado was first documented with anti-inflammatory actions in 1979. In 1985 taspine was documented with anti-inflammatory, antitumorous (against sarcomas), and antiviral actions.

The main plant chemicals in sangre de grado include: alpha-calacorene, alpha-copaene, alpha-pinene, alpha-thujene, beta-caryophyllene, beta-elemene, beta-pinene, betaine, bincatriol, borneol, calamenene, camphene, catechins, cedrucine, crolechinic acid, cuparophenol, D-limonene, daucosterol, dihydrobenzofuran, dimethylcedrusine, dipentene, eugenol, euparophenol, gallocatechin, gamma-terpinene, gamma-terpineol, hardwickiic acid, isoboldine, korberin A & B, lignin, linalool, magnoflorine, methylthymol, myrcene, norisoboldine, p-cymene, proanthocyanidins, procyanidins, resin, tannin, taspine, terpinen-4-ol, and vanillin.

SANGRE DE DRAGO-SANGRE DE DRAGO-CROTON LECHLERI

The wound-healing action of sangre de grado resin was first related to the taspine alkaloid in 1989. Several later studies also concentrated on the wound-healing and antitumorous properties of taspine. The lignan dimethylcedrusine was isolated by scientists in 1993 and was shown to play a central role in sangre de grado's effective wound-healing action. This Belgian study revealed that the crude resin stimulated contraction of wounds, helped in the formation of a crust/scab at the wound site, regenerated skin more rapidly, and assisted in the formation of new collagen. This was the study to which Dr. Duke referred in documenting that the crude resin was found to be four times more effective at wound healing and collagen formation than its isolated chemicals (and healed wounds 10-20 times faster than using nothing at all).

The Belgian scientists also determined that taspine was active against herpes virus in this study. In 1994 other phytochemicals were found, including phenolic compounds, proanthocyanadins, and diterpenes, which showed potent antibacterial activity (against E. coli and Bacillus subtilis) as well as wound-healing properties. Another study documented sangre de grado's antioxidant effects and researchers in Canada documented its antifungal properties. Another important traditional use of the sap was verified by clinical research in a 2000 study designed to evaluate its gastrointestinal effects. Researchers concluded that "Sangre de grado is a potent, cost-effective treatment for gastrointestinal ulcers and distress via antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and sensory afferent-dependent actions." In 2002, these same researchers reported that sangre de grado evidenced an in vitro effect against stomach cancer and colon cancer cells as well. In 2003 Italian researchers reported that the resin inhibited the growth of a human myelogenous leukemia cell line and also prevented cells from mutating in test tube studies.

SANGRE DE DRAGO-SANGRE DE DRAGO-CROTON LECHLERI

Extracts of sangre de grado have demonstrated antiviral activity against influenza, parainfluenza, herpes simplex viruses I and II, and hepatitis A and B. The antiviral and anti-diarrhea properties of sangre de grado have come to the attention of the pharmaceutical industry over the last 10 years. A U.S.-based pharmaceutical company has filed patents on three pharmaceutical preparations that contain antiviral constituents and novel chemicals (a group of plant flavonoids they've named SP-303), extracted from the bark and resin of sangre de grado. Their patented drugs include an oral product for the treatment of respiratory viral infections, a topical antiviral product for the treatment of herpes, and an oral product for the treatment of persistent diarrhea. These products have been the subject of various human clinical trials. Although the immunomodulating effects of sangre de grado have not been the subject of targeted research yet, some researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities may provide nonspecific immune enhancement effects as well.

More recently, several scientific tests have been conducted on a proprietary sangre de grado product (made into a skin balm) which was also based on traditional uses. They reported that in pest control workers, a sangre de grado balm was preferred over placebo, for the relief of itching, pain, discomfort, swelling, and redness in response to wasps, fire ants, mosquitoes, bees, cuts, abrasions, and allergic plant reactions (poison ivy and others). Subjects reported relief within minutes, and that it provided pain relief and alleviated symptoms (itching and swelling) for up to six hours. These reported effects in humans as well as several other tests they conducted in animals and in vitro models of inflammation led them to conclude that sangre de grado prevents pain sensation by blocking the activation of nerve fibers that relay pain signals to the brain (therefore functioning as a broad-acting pain killer) as well as blocks the tissue response to a chemical released by nerves that promotes inflammation.

Croton lechleri Muell.-Arg. Euphorbiaceae. "Sangre de drago", "Sangre de grado", Dragon's blood". The latex is used to heal wounds, and for vaginal baths before childbirth. It is also recommended for intestinal and stomach ulcers (RVM). It yields the hemostatic sap that accelerates wound healing (NIC). For leucorrhea, fractures, and piles (RAR). Page 58, Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary by James Duke & R Vazquez.

Sangre de Drago also called Sangre de Grado, is a medicinal blood-like latex tapped by indigenous people, in the manner of rubber, from a tree found in the rainforests of the Upper Amazon. The source of this valuable healing agent is Croton lechleri, a tree belonging to the Euphorbiaceae that grows up to fifty feet in height. Its heart-shaped leaves have raised veins with two glands at their base that change color with age from deep green to yellow/orange and red. Croton lechleri is encountered at elevations between 1,200 and 4,500 in the wet foothills forests. It is also found on the other side of the Andes, in the Pacific rainforest of northern Ecuador. In many regions were the tree is found, it is placed among the most valued medicines in the local native's people forest pharmacy.

The "blood" tapped from the trunk and branches has a broad spectrum of uses, most of which are corroborated independently from tribe to tribe. It is applied externally to cuts to stop bleeding and accelerate healing, to disinfect wounds and skin infections, while forming a protective, flexible 'liquid bandage' when dried. It is also used as a mouthwash for bleeding and ulcerations of the gums, tooth infections and to protect the teeth from cavities. A swab of cotton soaked in Sangre de Drago is placed in a painful cavity to kill the pain and disinfect it. Natives use it quite often to treat diarrhea, gastritis, and ulcers.

Studies have shown that procyanidins are the major constituents of Sangre de Drago (~90% of dried weight),several of which have been characterized as novel proanthocyanidins compounds. To date, four U.S. patents have been filed on Sangre de Drado sap, two for wound healing and two describing on the antiviral activity of a proanthocyanidin polymer chemical extracted from the resin and bark of the tree, for use in treating animals and humans infected with respiratory syncytial virus, influenza A, B and C, and Herpes simplex virus. The latest patent continued to document the antiviral properties, uses, and clinical testing and results of the extract from Sangre de Grado resin and bark against numerous viruses.

Scientists have since found that as a little as a single drop of Sangre de Drago can diminish pain resulting from insect bites and stings, lacerations, burns, and plant reactions for up to six hours. The investigators noted that the sap acts as an analgesic agent by stopping the activation and stimulation of sensory nerve fibers that send pain signals to the brain. These scientist pointed out that it also inhibits the inflammatory response of tissue to chemicals released by these same nerves, and that it does so when applied either externally on the skin or when mixed with water and swallowed to treat gastrointestinal problems.
Ongoing research would soon provide more insights into the mechanisms through which Sangre de Drago works.


"In the treatment of cancer, Sangre de Drago, appears to lend support to the healing of tissues but doesn't appear to be an anticancer substance itself….". Cat's Claw Healing Vine from Peru.Kenneth Jones, Sylvan Press, 1995.

SANGRE DE DRAGO-SANGRE DE DRAGO-CROTON LECHLERI
Sangre de grado Croton palanostigma induces apoptosis in human gastrointestinal cancer cells

Manuel SandovalCorresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, a, b, Nataly N. Okuhamaa, Melinda Clarka, Fausto M. Angelesa, Juan Laob, Sergio Bustamantec and Mark J. S. Millera

a Center for Cardiovascular Sciences and Department of Pediatrics, Albany Medical College, 47 New Scotland Avenue (MC 8), Albany, NY 12208, USA

b Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva, Center for Research on Medicinal Plants and Functional Foods, Tingo Maria, Peru

c Rainforest Phytoceuticals, Delmar, NY, USA



Abstract

Sangre de grado is an ethnomedicinal red tree sap obtained from Croton spp. that is used to treat gastrointestinal ulcers, cancer and to promote wound healing. To evaluate the potential role of sangre de grado (SdG) in cancer we examined its effects on human cancer cells, AGS (stomach), HT29 and T84 (colon). Viability of cells treated with SdG (10–200 μg/ml) decreased (P<0.01) in a dose dependent manner measured over a 24-h period. Cell proliferation at 48 h decreased (P<0.01) in all cells treated with SdG (>100 μg/ml). When cells in suspension were treated with SdG (100 μg/ml) cell adherence was severely compromised (>85%). Cells treated with SdG (100 μg/ml) underwent apoptosis as detected by nucleus condensation and DNA fragmentation determined by ELISA, and flow cytometry. Morphological changes as assessed by acridine orange. These effects were similar to that observed with Taxol (30 μM). A significant alteration of microtubular architecture was equally observed in both stomach and colon cancer cells exposed to SdG (100 μg/ml). The induction of apoptosis and microtubule damage in AGS, HT29 and T84 cells suggest that sangre de grado should be evaluated further as a potential source of anti-cancer agents

 

A matter of some sensitivity.
Phillipson JD
Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of London, U.K.
Phytochemistry, 38: 6, 1995 Apr, 1319-43
Abstract
The development of sensitive chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques for the isolation and structure determination of natural products has greatly facilitated phytochemical investigations. Chemical investigations of herbarium material have resulted in the isolation of indole, quinoline and isoquinoline alkaloids from a wide number of plants. Examples of novel natural products from higher plants are given and include alkaloids, terpenoids, phenolics and quinones. Some plants investigated have not yielded the types of constituents which would have been predicted from them. Plant tissue cultures provide alternative sources of biologically active compounds and examples investigated include Cinchona, Ailanthus, Brucea and Artemisia for antiprotozoal compounds and Datura for tropane alkaloids. Biological tests are useful for bioassay-guided fractionation of plant extracts and examples of the isolation of a series of natural products with antiprotozoal and cytotoxic activities are given. Chemical and biological investigations into the traditional medicine Dragon's blood (Croton lechleri) from S. America and a Chinese prescription for the treatment of atopic eczema are described. The use of radio-ligand binding assays for the detection of a wide range of biological activities is discussed. Sensitivity of chemical and biological techniques has greatly improved prospects for finding new drug entities from plants and for investigating traditional medicines. Basic phytochemical investigations should continue to be encouraged especially in view of the rapid loss of plant species.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Review of Sangre de Drago (Croton lechleri) - A South American Tree Sap in the Treatment of Diarrhea, Inflammation, Insect Bites, Viral Infections, and Wounds: Traditional Uses to Clinical Research

Kenneth Jones. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. December 2003, 9(6): 877-896. doi:10.1089/107555303771952235.

Published in Volume: 9 Issue 6: July 5, 2004



Kenneth Jones
Armana Research, Inc., Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia, Canada

Objective: The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the pharmacologic evidence that may or may not support clinical and ethnomedical uses of the sap of sangre de drago (dragon's blood; Croton lechleri Müll. Arg.). Data sources used were BIOSIS, EMBASE, PubMed, TOXLIT, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, manual searches, papers on file from peer-reviewed journals, textbooks available at Armana Research, Inc., and researchers in the field of South American botanical medicine.

Conclusions: The results of in vitro and in vivo studies largely support the majority of ethnomedical uses of sangre de drago including the treatment of diarrhea, wounds, tumors, stomach ulcers, herpes infection, the itching, pain and swelling of insect bites, and other conditions. Clinical studies of sangre de drago products have reported positive results in the treatment of traveler's and watery diarrhea and the symptoms of insect bites. Because the sap has shown low toxicity and preparations used in clinical studies were well tolerated, further clinical and pharmacologic studies are anticipated. Acknowledgment of the diversity in the chemical makeup of the sap from one geographic area to another and the recent characterization of alkaloid chemotypes of sangre de drago will require that materials developed for clinical use are standardized.

 


Taspine is the cicatrizant principle in Sangre de Grado extracted from Croton lechleri.
Vaisberg AJ; Milla M; Planas MC; Cordova JL; de Agusti ER; Ferreyra R; Mustiga MC; Carlin L; Hammond GB
Planta Med, 55: 2, 1989 Apr, 140-3
Abstract
Sangre de Grado extract used by Peruvian natives as a cicatrizant agent, was collected from trees of the species Croton lechleri growing in the Peruvian jungle. The Sangre de Grado was found to contain one alkaloid identified as taspine and which was shown to be the active cicatrizant principle by an in vivo test in mice. This alkaloid exhibited a dose-related cicatrizant effect and an ED50 of 0.375 mg/kg. Experiments with taspine hydrochloride in order to study its mechanism of action in cell culture systems showed that the alkaloid was non-toxic to human foreskin fibroblasts at concentrations below 150 ng/ml and that it had no effect on cell proliferation. On the other hand, taspine hydrochloride was found to increase the migration of human foreskin fibroblasts. This effect on the migration of fibroblasts is probably the mechanism by which Sangre de Grado and taspine hydrochloride accelerate the wound healing process. Using the two-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis system, we have been able to show that neither Sangre de Grado nor taspine hydrochloride had carcinogenic or tumour promoter activity after 17 months of treatment.


Isolation of a dihydrobenzofuran lignan from South American dragon's blood (Croton spp.) as an inhibitor of cell proliferation.
Pieters L; de Bruyne T; Claeys M; Vlietinck A; Calomme M; vanden Berghe D
University of Antwerp, Belgium.
J Nat Prod, 56: 6, 1993 Jun, 899-906
Abstract
Dragon's blood is a red viscous latex extracted from the cortex of various Croton spp. (Euphorbiaceae), most commonly Croton lechleri, Croton draconoides (or Croton palanostigma), and Croton erythrochilus. It is used in South American popular medicine for several purposes, including wound healing. Bioassay-guided fractionation of dragon's blood, using an in vitro test system for the stimulation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells, has resulted in the isolation of a dihydrobenzofuran lignan, 3',4-O-dimethylcedrusin or 4-O-methyldihydrodehydrodiconiferyl alcohol [2-(3',4'-dimethoxyphenyl)-3-hydroxymethyl-2,3-dihydro-7-methoxybenzo furan-5- propan-1-ol] [1] as the biologically active principle. A related compound, 4-O-methylcedrusin [2-(3',4'-dimethoxyphenyl)-3-hydroxymethyl-2,3-dihydro-7-hydroxybenzo furan-5- propan-1-ol] [2], and the alkaloid taspine [3], also isolated from dragon's blood, were not active in the same assay. A cell proliferation assay, measuring the incorporation of tritiated thymidine in endothelial cells, showed that compound 1 did not stimulate cell proliferation, but rather inhibited thymidine incorporation, while protecting cells against degradation in a starvation medium.


Studies on the anti-tumour, anti-bacterial, and wound-healing properties of dragon's blood.
Chen ZP; Cai Y; Phillipson JD
Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of London, U.K.
Planta Med, 60: 6, 1994 Dec, 541-5
Abstract
Three in-vitro assays have been adopted to examine the cytotoxicity and anti-bacterial activity of the blood-red sap of Croton lechleri from Ecuador, and to examine its effect upon the proliferation of endothelial cells. The sap was found not to be cytotoxic. Several simple phenolic compounds and diterpenes showed a potent anti-bacterial activity. The sap has little effect upon the proliferation of endothelial cells, and no single active ingredient was identified. A mechanism for the wound-healing property of the sap has been proposed.


 

South American plants II: taspine isolation and anti-inflammatory activity.
Perdue GP; Blomster RN; Blake DA; Farnsworth NR
J Pharm Sci, 68: 1, 1979 Jan, 124-6
Abstract
Croton lechleri L. (Euphorbiaceae), a plant from the Upper Amazon Valley of Peru, yielded the alkaloid taspine. The anti-inflammatory activity of taspine hydrochloride was studied using the carrageenan-induced pedal edema method, the cotton pellet-induced granuloma method, and the adjuvant polyarthritis model.

 

Benefits and Uses of Sangre de Grado or Sangre de Drago

Wounds
Carry Sangre de Drago with you" in your purse or backpack" and apply it to any wound" cut or abrasion.

Intestinal Health
To strengthen the wall of the ntestine and eliminate conditions linked to a leaky gut" add a teaspoon of Sangre de Drago to one liter of water and drink throughout the day for approximately two weeks. To help get rid of parasites" add three to four teaspoons of Sangre de Drago to one liter of water and drink for a few days.

For Antioxidant Nutrition
Sangre de Drago is one of the best sources of powerful antioxidants. Add Sangre de Drago everyday to your smoothie in order to promote cardiovascular health.

Facial
The antioxidant properties of Sangre de Drago make it an exceptional facial to rejuvenate the skin. Apply a few drops on your face that you gently rub into a thin foam. Let it sit for about fifteen minutes and then gently remove the film with a damp lukewarm cloth