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Sangre de grado (Croton lechleri)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 2-[4-(3-Hydroxypropyl)-2-methoxyphenoxy]-propane-1,3-diol, 4,5-dihydroblumenol A, alkaloids, alpha-calacorene, alpha-copaene, alpha-pinene, alpha-thujene, beta-caryophyllene, beta-elemene, betaine, beta-pinene, beta-sitostenine, beta-sitosterol, bincatriol, blumenol B, blumenol C, borneol, calamenene, Calamus rotang L., camphene, (+)-catechin, catechins, cedrucine, crofelemer, crolechinic acid, crolechinol, Croton draco Schltdl. & Cham., Croton draconoides Müll. Arg., Croton drago, Croton lechleri Müll. Arg., Croton palanostigma, Croton salutaris, Croton urucurana Baill., Croton xalapensis Kunth, cuparophenol, Daemonorops draco Bl., Daemonorops draco Blume, Daemonorops didymophylla Becc., Daemonorops micranthus Becc., Daemonorops motleyi Becc., Daemonorops propinquus Becc., Daemonorops rubra (Reinw. ex Blume) Mart., daucosterol, dihydrobenzofuran, dimethylcedrusine, dipentene, D-limonene, Dracaena cinnabari Balf.f., Dracaena cochinchinensis Hort. ex Baker, Dracaena draco (L.) L., Draconis palm, drago, (-)-epicatechin, erythro-guaiacyl-glyceryl-beta-O-4'-dihydroconiferyl ether, eugenol, euparophenol, floribundic acid glucoside, Fulyzaq™, gallocatechin, (+)-gallocatechin, (-)-galloepicatechin, gamma-terpinene, gamma-terpineol, glaucine, hardwickiic acid, isoboldine, korberin A, korberin B, lignin, linalool, magnoflorine, methylthymol, myrcene, norisoboldine, Normal Stool Formula, p-cymene, proanthocyanidins, procyanidins, Provir, Pterocarpus officinalis Jacq., resin, sangre de drago, sangre de grado, sangue de agua, sinoacutine, SP-300, SP-303, tannin, taspine, terpinen-4-ol, thaliporphine, vanillin.
  • Note: This monograph will primarily cover Croton lecheri (dragon's blood, dragon's-blood croton, sangre de grado), but not Daemonorops draco (dragon's-blood, dragon's-blood palm).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Dragon's blood is a bright red resin obtained from several distinct plant genera, including Croton, Dracaena, Daemonorops, Calamus rotang, and Pterocarpus. Despite the large size of the genus Croton (i.e., 750 species of trees and shrubs), for purposes of the current monograph, only one species will be discussed, Croton lecheri.
  • Sangre de grado (the Peruvian name) or sangre de drago (the Ecuadorian name), meaning "blood of the dragon," is a medium-sized tree that grows in the upper Amazon region of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. It has large, heart-shaped, green leaves and greenish-white flowers. Upon injury to the bark of the tree, a dark red resin spills out of the tree. Sangre de grado is still used in traditional medicine in South America, where it is used for hemorrhaging and wounds, and as an antiseptic. It is also used for protection against ulcers, including those of the stomach, mouth, throat, and intestines; as an antiviral, anticancer, and antidiarrheal agent; and topically for skin conditions and insect bites.
  • In the United States, sangre de grado has been suggested as a treatment for diabetic neuropathy. It may also exert benefits on diabetes-related skin ulcers and sores when applied topically.
  • A mixture of proanthocyanidin oligomers, SP-303, has been isolated from the sap of Croton lechleri and is largely composed of (-)-galloepicatechin, (+)-gallocatechin, (-)-epicatechin, and (+)-catechin. Its effects on diarrhea and herpes virus infections have been studied in clinical trials, with mostly positive results. Crofelemer (Fulyzaq™, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.) is an oral, FDA approved drug containing a purified proanthocyanidin oligomer extract derived from the red latex of sangre de grado (Croton lechleri) bark, available by prescription, and specifically intended for use in HIV/AIDS patients on antiretroviral therapy with non-infectious diarrhea.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.