M'Gregor* regards Croton Oil as one of the most efficacious remedies we possess. In full plethoric subjects, and in the first stage of fever, he bleeds once freely, then administers an emetic; and after its full operation, commences the use of Croton Oil and Opium in combination. (See Cholera.) Under the use of this formula, the gall-bladder is emptied of large quantities of dark bile, and the character of that secretion becomes greatly improved. He found Croton Oil succeed in procuring the evacuation of this vitiated bile, when Calomel, Jalap, and other purgatives had failed. In the severe forms of this fever, he regards this emptying the gall-bladder as a point of first importance; and asserts, that until this be accomplished, the lancet, Calomel, and other remedies, are incapable of checking the disease. Immediately after an intermission is induced, he gives Quinine (gr. x.), and continues its use in smaller doses at short intervals. He adds, that out of 300 cases thus treated, he only lost one! In old residents in India, the bleeding should be omitted, and ice applied to the head.
1014. In the obstinate Constipation which accompanies Inflammation of the Brain, Mania, and other Cerebral Affections, Croton Oil is especially valuable, acting not only as an aperient, but as a derivative and revulsive. In Colica Pictonum, it also proves effectual when other remedies fail. In Apoplexy, it is peculiarly adapted, from the ease with which it may be administered: placed at the back of the tongue, it operates freely.
1015. In Dropsical Affections, when hydragogue cathartics are indicated, Croton Oil is sometimes preferable to Elaterium, and other remedies of this class; but it is inadmissible when the patient is old and debilitated. Great caution is necessary in its use; it should be commenced in small doses, and gradually increased, according to the amount of purgation which it induces. In Hydrocephalus, it has been sometimes employed, but it is too powerful a remedy for ordinary cases. In some instances it appears to have been useful, when applied externally, as a counter-irritant.
Heaton. of Leeds, observes that, when it is advisable to administer a hydragogue cathartic, there is none so convenient as Croton Oil, which produces copious evacuations, with less sickness and discomfort than Elaterium.
New bigging* found all the distressing symptoms disappear after the internal administration of Croton Oil. He considers that it possesses a specific power in these nervous diseases, apart from its purgative action. Mr. Hunt. also, states that in Tic Douloureux arising from dyspepsia, he has derived great benefit from its use, particularly when it produces an emetic as well as a purgative action. It occasionally affords great relief when applied externally, as an embrocation, over the affected nerve.
* Op. cit
Prov. Journ , April 1849.
A case of this disease occurring in a child nine months old is mentioned by Mr. Newbigging; which, after resisting the usual remedies, yielded to the employment of Croton Oil, in doses of one-quarter of a drop.
1019. In Prurigo Senilis, the following liniment is stated to afford great relief: - 01. Croton. Tig. fl. drm. ss. - fl. drm. j., 01. OlivAe fl. oz. j., M. In Ringworm and Favus, Mr. E. Wilson § advises an ointment composed of 01. Tiglii gutt. xx., Cerati j., M.
He directs gutt. xxiv. to be rubbed over the chest with the palm of the hand. Applied in this manner, he states that it is attended with no danger, and affords very great relief to the distressing symptoms, particularly to the Dyspnoea. Owing to the thickness of the epidermis of the hand, it does not in the least affect the palm. In Chronic Bronchitis, Chronic Pneumonia, and other Affections of the Lungs and Air-passages, Croton Oil, diluted with four to seven parts of Olive Oil, proves a useful counter-irritant. In Laryngeal Phthisis, Dr. Graves || advises a liniment composed of Lin. Camph. Co. fj. and 01. Tiglii exx. - xxx., M.
1021. In Chronic Rheumatism, Paralysis, Chronic Diseases of the Joints, &c, a liniment composed of one part of Croton Oil, and two or three of simple oil, occasionally proves useful. It may be further diluted if it cause much irritation or pain.
He says that it has this advantage, that when it is inadvisable to administer strong purgatives, a few drops of the oil rubbed in, over the abdomen, will often lead to the expulsion of the worms. It is, however, very uncertain in its operation when thus applied.