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Croton salutaris - Casar.

Common Name Sangre De Grado, Dragon's blood
Family Euphorbiaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range S. America - southeastern Brazil.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Croton salutaris Sangre De Grado, Dragon
Croton salutaris Sangre De Grado, Dragon


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Found in South America, Sangre de Grado or Croton salutaris is a tree of about 10-20 m in height with bole diameter of 30 cm. It yields a dark red, sappy resin that is a known effective herbal treatment. The sap is antibacterial and has inflammatory, antitumor, haemostatic, and vulnary properties thus used in the treatment of wide range of illnesses and discomforts. Southeastern Brazil

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Croton salutaris is a TREE growing to 12 m (39ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Croton angularis Klotzsch ex Baill. Croton urceolatus Baill. Oxydectes salutaris (Casar.) Kuntze


Edible Uses

None known


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

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 ]. 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 ]. Taspine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antitumour and antiviral actions, and to be active against the herpes virus[ 318 ]. 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 ]. 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 ]. 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 ]. The resin has also shown an in vitro effect against stomach cancer and colon cancer cells[ 318 ]. It inhibits the growth of a human myelogenous leukaemia cell line and also prevents cells from mutating in test tube studies[ 318 ]. The stems and leaves contain the alkaloid 'salutaridine', which is an important intermediate in the biosynthesis of morphine alkaloids[ 739 ]. The sap is antibacterial, antifungal, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antipruritic, antitumor, haemostatic and vulnerary[ 318 ]. It is used internally in the treatment of intestinal and stomach ulcers; upper respiratory viruses; stomach viruses; and HIV. 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 ]. It is taken as a douche for relieving vaginal discharge[ 318 ]. The sap is painted on wounds to staunch bleeding, to accelerate healing, and to seal and protect injuries from infection[ 318 , 739 ]. 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, 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 ]. 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 ]. The leaves are depurative, febrifuge and stomachic[ 739 ].


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Other Uses

Other Uses: None known

Special Uses


Cultivation details

Not known


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Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Sangre de Grado or Croton salutaris

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Southeastern Brazil

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Chrozophora tinctoriaDyer's Croton, GiradolPerennial0.0 0-0  LMHSNM10 
Croton lechleriSangre De Grado, Dragon's bloodTree12.0 10-12 FLMHNM041
Croton megalocarpusCroton treeTree25.0 10-12 FLMNM024
Croton palanostigmaSangre De Grado, Dragon's bloodTree12.0 10-12 FLMNM042
Croton tigliumCroton Oil Plant. Croton, Purging croton.Tree7.0 10-12 MLMHNDM032

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Links / References

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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