Croton lechleri

(Croton lechleri)



Croton lechleri is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, that is native to northwestern South America. It is commonly known as sangre de grado (Peruvian Spanish) or sangre de drago (Ecuadorian Spanish), both of which translate to "dragon's blood". They refer to this tree's (and several related species') thick red latex. The latex has medicinal properties, and is used by local peoples as a liquid bandage, applied to seal wounds, as it dries quickly to form a protective skin-like barrier. Its use by native people has led to scientific study and observation of its in vitro antioxidant activity as well as both mutagenic and antimutagenic behavior. The latex also contains a number of chemicals, including taspine. Oligomeric proanthocyanidins, another kind of chemical contained in the latex, have been investigated for the treatment of HIV-associated diarrhea under the name crofelemer. In January 2013, crofelemer, under the trade name Mytesi, was approved by the FDA for the treatment of non-infectious diarrhea in HIV+ patients.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Magnoliopsida
News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day