The blood-red sap of Dragon's blood has been used in folk medicine for fractures, wounds, inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatism, and blood circulation dysfunctions. Existing in vitro and in vivo bioactivity of this herb on different mechanisms of healing shows strong potential of this sap in wound healing. This clinical trial study was designated to evaluate the wound healing effect of Dragon's blood on human wounds.
Dragon's blood has the immunomodulatory property by influence on complement system.4The antioxidant agents from Dragon's blood leaves and fruit, such as phenolic profile and organic acids, are able to protect against free radicals.17, 18 Noteworthy, the anti-inflammatory effect of the alkaloid taspine has been reported.19 These studies have shown this plant can promote healing by affecting the inflammatory phase. Studies confirm that after only 1 day of treatment with Dragon's blood, the wound contracts and a dark crust forms on the wound surface which prevents secondary infection.2, 20 It also stimulates the proliferation and migration of fibroblasts and the production of collagen, resulting in epithelial regeneration and wound healing which can affect second and third phases of the healing process.2, 12
Sixty patients, between the ages of 14–65 years, who were referred to remove their skin tag, were assigned to this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial and received either Dragon's blood or a placebo cream. They were visited on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, and 20th day of the trial to check the process of healing and to measure the wound's surface. At the end of trial, there was a significant difference in the mean duration of wound healing between the two groups (p = 0.0001). The phenolic compounds and the alkaloid taspine, which exist in Dragon's-blood resin, are probably the main reasons for the wound healing property of this plant. Being natural accessible, safe, and affordable makes Dragon's blood cream, a good choice for addition to the wound healing armamentarium. Further studies on wounds with different causes and among larger populations are suggested to ensure the effectiveness and safety of Dragon's blood.
This clinical trial from the National Taiwan University suggests Dragon's blood is a potent, available, affordable, and safe healing agent. The exact role of Dragon's blood in the pathogenesis of wound healing regarding its effect on stimulation or hindering mediator's synthesis is still absent and further studies are required.