A systematic review of the botanical, phytochemical and pharmacological profile of Dracaena cochinchinensis, a plant source of the ethnomedicine "dragon's blood"

Molecules. 2014 Jul 22;19(7):10650-69. doi: 10.3390/molecules190710650.


"Dragon's blood" is the name given to a deep red resin obtained from a variety of plant sources. The resin extracted from stems of Dracaena cochinchinensis is one such source of "dragon's blood". It has a reputation for facilitating blood circulation and dispersing blood stasis. In traditional Chinese medicine, this resinous medicine is commonly prescribed to invigorate blood circulation for the treatment of traumatic injuries, blood stasis and pain. Modern pharmacological studies have found that this resinous medicine has anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-diabetic, and anti-tumor activities, while it is also known to enhance immune function, promote skin repair, stop bleeding and enhance blood circulation. Various compounds have been isolated from the plant, including loureirin A, loureirin B, loureirin C, cochinchinenin, socotrin-4'-ol, 4',7-dihydroxyflavan, 4-methylcholest-7-ene-3-ol, ethylparaben, resveratrol, and hydroxyphenol. The present review summarizes current knowledge concerning the botany, phytochemistry, pharmacological effects, toxicology studies and clinical applications of this resinous medicine as derived from D. cochinchinenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dracaena / chemistry*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal* / chemistry
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal* / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Stems / chemistry*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal