Biological and chemical properties of Jatropha neopauciflora Pax, commonly called dragon’s blood

A study published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines revealed that the Jatropha neopauciflora Pax plant, a medicinal herb more commonly known dragon’s blood, possessed potent antibacterial and antioxidant properties that may hold potential in disease treatment. The scientists inferred that the plant, a staple in traditional herbal medicine in Mexico, may be used against bacterial, fungal and viral infections.

  • Scientists have collected various parts of the plant, which was an endemic species found mostly in the Tehuacan Cuicatlan Valley, Mexico
  • The research team used maceration technique to obtain the plant’s methanol extract (MeOH2) and hexane (H) fractions
  • The experts also used hydrodistillation technique to obtain the plant’s essential oils
  • The team then analyzed the extracts and essential oils through gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • The scientists employed disc diffusion agar and radial inhibition growth methods in analyzing the plant’s antimicrobial properties
  • Data from the analysis revealed that the extracts, fractions and essential oils contained powerful compounds such as pinene, menthatriene, ledene and linalyl acetate as well as lupeol, pyrogallol, coniferyl alcohol, and stigmasterol.
  • The results showed that the extracts and fractions possessed strong antibacterial effects against five Gram-positive and six Gram-negative strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Vibrio cholerae bacteria.
  • The study also revealed that the plant’s extracts and fractions had a bacteriostatic effect in the survival curves of both the Staphylococcus aureus and Vibrio cholerae strains.
  • Likewise, Jatropha neopauciflora Pax extracts and fractions exhibited strong antifungal properties against the Trichophyton mentagrophytes strain

The researchers concluded that the medicinal plant might be used as a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent.

Journal reference:

A. B. Hernández-Hernández, F. J. Alarcón-Aguilar, M. Jiménez-Estrada, L.B. Hernández-Portilla, C.M. Flores-Ortiz, M.A. Rodríguez-Monroy, M Canales-Martínez. BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES AND CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF JATROPHA NEOPAUCIFLORA PAX. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 2017; 14: 1 DOI:

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