Comparison of the chemical profiles and anti-platelet aggregation effects of two “Dragon's Blood” drugs used in traditional Chinese medicine

Tao Yi*, Hu-Biao Chen, Zhong-Zhen Zhao, Zhi-Ling Yu, Zhi-Hong Jiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


Ethnopharmacological relevance: "Dragon's Blood" has been used as a medicine since ancient times by many cultures. In traditional Chinese medicine, the resin obtained from Daemonorops draco (RDD) and the resin from Dracaena cochinchinensis (RDC) are equally prescribed as "Dragon's Blood" for facilitating blood circulation. 

Aim of the study: To verify the traditional efficacy and elucidate the mechanism, the present study compared the chemical profiles and the pharmacological effects of two species of "Dragon's Blood" mainly used in China. 

Materials and methods: A UPLC-MS fingerprinting method was developed to compare the chemical profiles of the two medicines. The anti-platelet aggregation effects of the two medicines induced by arachidonic acid (AA) were investigated. 

Results: The chemical profiles of these two species of "Dragon's Blood" were significantly different. The characteristic constituents were found to be: flavanes in RDD and stilbenes in RDC. In the in vivo platelet inhibition test, performed with the dose of 200 mg/kg on rats, the peak inhibitory effects of RDD and RDC were 35.8% and 27.6%, respectively, compared with the control group. With the in vitro concentrations of 0.2, 0.4 and 0.8 mg/ml, RDD exerted significant inhibition of aggregation by 18.7%, 20.0%, and 61.6%, respectively, and RDC exerted significant inhibition of aggregation by 13.3%, 20.2%, and 31.6%, respectively.

Conclusion: The fingerprinting method used here is suitable for distinguishing them. All pharmacological tests indicated that RDD was more potent than RDC against platelet aggregation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-802
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number2
Early online date10 Nov 2010
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anti-platelet aggregation
  • Chemical profiles
  • Daemonorops draco
  • Dracaena cochinchinensis
  • Dragon's Blood


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