Croton lechleri
Croton lechleri
This information describes the common uses of Croton lechleri, how it works, and its possible side effects.

Common Name

Sangre de Drago, Dragon’s Blood, Sangre de Grado, Sangre de Dragón, SP-303, crofelemer

How It Works

Croton lechleri has not been shown to treat cancer in humans.

The dark red sap of C. lechleri, a tree found in many regions of South America, has been used in traditional medicine for wound healing and gastric ulcers. SP-303, a mixture of proanthocyanidin oligomers derived from the plant, was found effective in the treatment of traveler’s diarrhea and diarrhea experienced by AIDS patients. Now known as crofelemer, it is has been approved by the FDA to treat AIDS-associated diarrhea.

Studies done in animals showed that C.lechleri reduced the size of gastric ulcers and also decreased the time required for wound healing but human data are lacking. Laboratory studies indicate that it can kill cancer cells, but no studies have been done in humans.

Purported Uses

  • To treat diarrhea
    Clinical trials have shown that C. lechleri is effective in the treatment of traveler’s diarrhea and the diarrhea experienced by AIDS patients
  • To treat cancer
    Laboratory studies showed that C. lechleri can kill cancer cells but human data are lacking
  • To treat viral infections
    One clinical trial found that C. lechleri, used topically, was no more effective than placebo in treating recurrent genital herpes lesions in AIDS patients
  • To treat gastric ulcers
    Animal studies have shown that C. lechleri can reduce the size of gastric ulcers, but there are no human studies
  • For wound healing
    There are no studies in humans that support this use, but animal studies have shown that C. lechleri can decrease the time required for wound healing

Do Not Take If

If you are taking Dacomitinib: Crofelemer was reported to worsen dacomitinib-induced diarrhea in mice. Clinical relevance is not known.