Synonyms: Croton lechleri, Croton salutaris, Dragon’s Blood,
This moderate- to large-sized Amazonian tree has a thick red sap, which explains its name, translating literally to “blood of the drag- on” in Spanish. This sap can be condensed into a resin, which has become one of the most commonly used natural remedies in all of South America, and synthesized versions of the resin have found their way into medicine cabinets around the world.
Sangre de grado can be used externally to treat skin injuries and conditions. Its biologically active lignan and alkaloid compounds, as well as its dense consistency, make it an excellent way to seal and protect scrapes, cuts, wounds, rashes, and insect bites, and accelerates healing in all of these conditions. The resin can also be consumed as a remedy for ulcers and internal in ammation, and is often associated with relieving diarrhea and other digestive symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, cholera, and even AIDS.
This medium- to large-sized tree grows to 65 feet tall in the upper Amazon. The trunk is covered by smooth, mottled bark. Its large green leaves are heart shaped, and its light green or white flowers grow on large stalks. Its name translates to “dragon’s blood”, so named because when the trunk is wounded or cut, it oozes a dark red sap resembling blood.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Peruvian Amazon, Mexico, Central America, Dominican Republic, Brazil
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Astringent, anesthetic, antibacterial, antiseptic, antitumor, antiviral, antihemorrhagic, antifungal, blood tonic, purgative, tonic. Used
to treat wounds, fractures, vaginal and uterine conditions, infertility, rheumatism, intestinal conditions, insect bites, mouth sores, tonsillitis, sore throat, herpes, hemorrhoids, vaginal discharge, diarrhea, dysentery, colitis, and peptic ulcers.
For fractures, apply the bark as a poultice. For wounds, skin conditions, insect bites, and fungus, apply the sap directly to the affected area. For all other conditions, ingest the undiluted resin. It is recommended to not consume more than 2 tablespoons per day.