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Rainforest Plants – Sangre de Grada

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Genus: Croton

Species: lechleri, salutaris, palanostigma

Common names: dragon’s blood, drago, sangue de drago, sangue de agua

General Description: thisa tree that grows from 30 to 60 feet high in the upper Amazon rainforest of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. It is also the name of the red latex sap from the Peruvian Rainforest that has been used for centuries for healing sores and bleeding. The tree is a sustainable rainforest resource that has many potential applications.

Uses: Although its traditional use has been for healing wounds, Sangre de grado is also used for its antibacterial and antiviral properties; it is considered an antiseptic. It can be used both internally and topically. Examples include treatment for vaginal hemorrhaging, tumors, stomach ulcers, swelling from arthritis, tooth extraction, hemorrhoids, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and diarrhea. Its antiseptic properties lend well for healing of ulcerations in the gastro-intestinal tract as well as wounds on the skin.

This ethno-medicinal red tree sap is obtained from several species of Croton. The Sangre de grado tree emits blood-red sap which is collected and processed. Sangre de grado may also be sold either as a liquid straight from the tree, or the bark may be processed and sold.

Clinical research in 2000 showed that “…this tree is a potent, cost-effective treatment for gastrointestinal ulcers and distress via antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and sensory afferent-dependent actions. In traditional Amazonian medicine sangre de grado is used as an oral gargle for sore throat, as a vaginal antiseptic after childbirth, topically as a hemostatic, and taken internally for wound healing. In recommended dosages, sangre de grado is considered non-toxic, and there are no known contraindications or drug interactions.” (Alternative Medicine Review, 2001)

Disclaimer: The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Any reference to medicinal use is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.

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