Herbs & Plants

Croton lechleri

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Botanical Name : Croton lechleri
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Crotonoideae
Tribe: Crotoneae
Genus: Croton
Species: C. lechleri
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names:Sangre de Drago

Habitat :Croton lechleri is native to north-eastern South America. Its name translates as “Dragon’s blood“, and is derived from the appearance of the tree’s sap, or latex: when the bark is cut, the thick red latex that oozes forth resembles blood.(you may click to see:)The tree grows in worm climate, seme and mild.

The tree is about 15 m tall, smooth trunk and bark and the color is grey to brown. It has many branches at the top and have large heart-shaped leaves.The flowers in long racmes,rounded fruits originate…..

click to see the pictures

The seedlings are very delicate and frequently die or succumb to grasshoppers. Once the tree is established, it grows quickly, and can become a large tree. The canopy is broad but light, allowing sunlight to filter through it down to crops below. The tree requires fertile soil, and will not tolerate flooding. If properly spaced (at least 10 meters apart), it can be interplanted with many tree crops, especially smaller trees. The tree is highly coveted for its resin. It is common in some parts of the region (such as the Nanay), but entirely absent in others. In fields it is vulnerable to leaf-cutter ants, and often colonized by other species of ants. RCF has helped many families in the Tahuayo cultivate this species for the first time.

Medicinal Uses:
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.

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.

Some studies have found that the taspine, found in the red sap of dragon’s blood, appears to accelerate the healing of wounds.  But later research at the University of London, School of Pharmacy has cast doubt on taspine’s wound-healing power, suggesting instead that substances known as polyphenols may be responsible.    The same British study also examined the ability of dragon’s blood to kill certain human cancer cells and bacteria.  In laboratory tests on samples of human oral cancer cells, dragon’s blood sap proved toxic to those cells.  In addition, other components in the sap were believed to be valuable in killing off bacteria, making dragon’s blood useful as an anti-infective.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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