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J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Sep 5;113(2):357-60. Epub 2007 Jun 28.

Dragon's blood from Croton urucurana (Baill.) attenuates visceral nociception in mice.

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Departmento de Fisiologia e Farmacologia, Faculdade de Medicina,Universidade Federal do Ceará, Caixa Postal-3157, 60430-270 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.


Dragon's blood, the red sap from Croton urucurana Baill. (Euphorbiaceae) has a profound history of traditional use in conditions such as inflammation, diarrhoea and gastrointestinal distress. Previous studies established its anti-inflammatory, antidiarrhoeal and analgesic properties and in this study we verified its potential to suppress visceral pain, using capsaicin- and cyclophosphamide-induced models of visceral nociception. Mice that received intra-colonic capsaicin (0.3%, 50 microl/animal) or intraperitoneal injection of cyclophosphamide (400 mg/kg) manifested spontaneous nociceptive behaviors or crises, which were significantly suppressed in animal groups treated with red sap (200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.) or that received N-acetylcysteine (750 mg/kg, i.p.) or morphine (7.5 mg/kg, s.c.), as positive controls. In capsaicin model, the antinociception produced by 200 mg/kg red sap was found to be naloxone-sensitive (2 mg/kg, i.p.), suggesting an opioid mechanism. In tests of open-field and pentobarbital-sleeping time, mice received 200mg/kg red sap showed no significant alterations in either locomotion frequency or on sleeping time, indicating that the observed antinociception is not a consequence of sedation or motor abnormality. These findings highlight the visceral antinociceptive property of Croton urucurana sap and further support its ethno-medical use to alleviate pain associated with gastrointestinal and other related disorders.

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