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Useful Tropical Plants

Croton lechleri

Müll.Arg.

Euphorbiaceae

+ Synonyms

Croton draco cordatus Müll.Arg.

Oxydectes lechleri (Müll.Arg.) Kuntze

Common Name: Sangre De Grado

Croton lechleri
Flowers, leaves and trunk
Photograph by: Dick Culbert
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Croton lechleri Croton lechleri Croton lechleri

General Information

Sangre de grado is a tree with a broad but open crown, that grows from 10- 20 metres tall. The bole is usually less than 30cm in diameter. When the trunk of the tree is cut or wounded, a dark red, sappy resin oozes out as if the tree is bleeding[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
,
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
].
The sap is a popular and effective herbal treatment, and so it is commonly harvested from the wild for both local use and for trade.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

434
Title
Flora of Peru
Publication
 
Author
Macbride. J.F.
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent attempt at a Flora of Peru, though it is clear that many of the plants were imperfectly known at that time and so information on them was sketchy. Available for download from the Internet.

Range

S. America - Peru, Ecuador, Colombia.

Habitat

Secondary forest.

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
HabitTree
Height12.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Grows best in a well-drained, fertile soil[
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
].
A fast-growing tree[
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Sangre de grado is a common name for several trees in the genus Croton - all have a red sap and can be used interchangeably. The red sap or latex (and also its bark) has a long history of indigenous use in the rainforest and in South America. The curative power of the sap was widely known throughout the indigenous tribes of Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador. Modern research has shown that it is a very effective treatment for a wide range of injuries and disorders, particularly relating to the skin; both internal and external ulcers; is an effective antiviral and also helps in the treatment of tumours[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
The resin or sap is a storehouse of phytochemicals including proanthocyanidins (antioxidants), simple phenols, diterpenes, phytosterols, and biologically active alkaloids and lignans Scientists have attributed many of the biologically active properties of the sap (especially its wound-healing capacity) to two main 'active' constituents: an alkaloid named taspine, and a lignan named dimethylcedrusine[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
Taspine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antiviral actions, and to be active against the herpes virus[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
The lignan ‘dimethylcedrusine’ has been shown to play a central role in the resin’s effective wound-healing action. The study revealed that the crude resin stimulated contraction of wounds, helped in the formation of a crust/scab at the wound site, regenerated skin more rapidly, and assisted in the formation of new collagen[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
Other phytochemicals, including phenolic compounds, proanthocyanadins, and diterpenes, have shown potent antibacterial activity (against E. Coli and Bacillus subtilis) as well as wound-healing properties[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. Research has shown that the resin is a potent, cost-effective treatment for gastrointestinal ulcers and distress via antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and sensory afferent-dependent actions[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
The resin has also shown an in vitro effect against stomach cancer and colon cancer cells[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. It inhibits the growth of a human myelogenous leukaemia cell line and also prevents cells from mutating in test tube studies[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

The sap is antibacterial, antifungal, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antipruritic, antitumor, haemostatic and vulnerary[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
]. It is used internally in the treatment of intestinal and stomach ulcers; upper respiratory viruses; stomach viruses; and HIV[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
,
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
]. For internal use, the traditional remedy is 10 - 15 drops in a small amount of liquid, taken 1-3 times daily (be prepared, however; it tastes quite dreadful)[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
It is taken as a douche for relieving vaginal discharge[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].
The sap is 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 as a treatment on wounds, insect bites and stings, skin disorders, fractures, and haemorrhoids., Other uses include treating inflamed or infected gums, in vaginal baths before and after childbirth, for haemorrhaging after childbirth, and for a wide range of skin disorders[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
,
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
].
For external use, the resin is rubbed directly on the affected area several times daily and allowed to dry. Please note: the resin is red! It will temporarily stain the skin a reddish-brown (which will wash off), but it will permanently stain clothing. Rubbing the resin in the palm of the hand first or directly where applied will thicken the resin into a thin, lighter coloured paste, which helps form a second skin on top of a wound or rash and reduces staining[
318
Title
Raintree Nutrition - Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rain-tree.com/plants.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the medicinal uses of more than two hundred rainforest plants, mainly from S. America, with basic descriptions of the plants, their other uses etc.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The tree has an open, though broad crown. It intercrops well with smaller trees[
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -
Seedlings are very delicate and frequently die or succumb to grasshoppers in the wild[
355
Title
Rainforest Conservation Fund
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.rainforestconservation.org/data_sheets/agroforestry/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details on usage and Agroforestry notes, coupled with some good photos.
].

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