As I have said in many other posts-I have been interested in learning about herbs and supplements for a very long time now. I didn’t actually start taking them until I went away to college in 2009 though.
Unfortunately, not all herbs or supplements have been worth taking. Some of them didn’t do anything at all and some caused bad effects.
Dragon’s Blood is an example of a supplement that didn’t go over vey well with me. This post will provide information on what it is and how it effected me.
About Dragon’s Blood
You might find the name of this to be interesting. There is also a good chance that a certain, fantastical image may come into your mind when you think about it.
The reality is that Dragon’s Blood is just a kind of tree that is native to the northwestern part of the Amazonian region (Bolivia, Columbia, Brazil etc.). The real name of the tree is actually, Croton lechleri. The Dragon’s Blood title comes from the fact that the sap in the bark of the tree is a deep red color.
The sap has been used in traditional medicine since the 1650s and possibly even before that. It’s first use was on wounds, cuts and sores. Eventually it was found to have the ability to deal with other problems as well.
Through anecdotes and chemical analysis, it has been shown that the sap has the following properties:
- Anti-inflammatory activity
- Anti-viral activity
- Wound healing activity
- Antiseptic activity
- Antibacterial activity
Because of these alleged properties, it has been more specifically shown to do the following (allegedly):
- Acts as sort of a Band-Aid to seal/treat wounds, cuts, bites, scrapes and sores. This is due to its drying and antiseptic activity.
- May relieve gum irritation and fix receding gums
- Treats diarrhea. The sap has been used to make a medication specifically for this purpose. The medicine is called, Crofelemer.
- Treats and prevents stomach issues.
- Heals shingles and herpes lesions.
- Helps to reduce environmental damage to the skin due to its alleged ability to provide a seal on it.
Not much is known on the negative effects of the sap. This might be because it isn’t the most popular and well known supplement. Just like most supplements though, it is not a good idea to start taking it while pregnant. You should also be really cautious if you are on any kind of medication already.
For topical and internal application, Dragon’s blood is sold in a few different forms. These include liquid drops, capsules, powders and various skincare products (lipstick, serums, gels, creams, face masks etc.). Dragon’s blood is also used for incense and candles.
Why I was interested in taking it
At the time of learning about Dragon’s blood- I was running my home daycare with a full load of children (eight kids, full-time). If you know anything about children and daycares- you would know that all types of “bugs” get passed around.
When I read that Dragon’s blood sap may be able to treat and prevent GI bugs…I had to get some! I had no time for GI bugs to take me out for a day or so as parents depended on me for consistent care.
I ended up going with a liquid drop formulation by Herb Pharm. It got (and still has) great reviews and the brand seemed reputable.
I was excited to try it and impatiently waited for it to come in the mail!
My experience with it
As you can already see from the title and introduction, my experience with Dragon’s blood sap was not good.
I followed the directions on the bottle and put a dropper full of the liquid into some apple juice. It tasted absolutely disgusting but I was motivated to finish it. I was thinking that if it were to really work, I would eventually get used to the taste.
Unfortunately, after about 1.5 hours- I had some type of bad reaction. My symptoms included hives everywhere, a rash around my mouth and stomach cramps. It was horrible! I took a Benadryl and put on a corticosteroid cream onto my skin to calm the reaction down.
At first I was thinking this reaction was just a fluke and it had nothing to with the sap product. So I (albeit stupidly) decided to take another dose the next day.
The reaction happened again!
At that point, I decided that I was clearly allergic to it and I needed to discontinue any use of it.
Alternatives for GI upset
It was unfortunate that I couldn’t get the GI benefits from the sap. The good thing is that I have found other things since then that can help if I experience GI upset. They might work for you too! Here are the things I keep around now for these times:
- Red raspberry leaf tea
- 100% grape juice for prevention of stomach viruses
- Tummy Tuneup probiotics
- Peppermint candy
- Meclizine (motion sickness OTC medication)
- Nauzene syrup ( an anti-nausea syrup)
- Vitamin B6
- Ginger tea
These are all what really work for me. You can take a look at my post that shows a lot more things that may help with GI issues.
It is too bad that the Dragon’s blood product did not work for me and caused an allergic reaction. That is what happens sometimes though. You just never know how you are going to do when taking something for the first time even if it gets a lot of positive reviews.
If you are interested in taking Dragon’s blood sap, do some more research on it and decide if it is for you or not.
Have any of you ever had a supplement mishap? If so, what happened?
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor so therefore I am not providing any medical advice. This post is only to provide general information and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.
Affiliate disclaimer: Some of the links on my blog may be affiliate links. This means that I can receive a commission on things you click on and purchase.
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