Croton Oil, a medicinal oil expressed from the seeds of the croton tiglium, a plant of the order euphorbiacece, and a native of Ceylon, Molucca, Hindostan, and other parts of Asia. These seeds are rather larger than a common pea, of an ovate form, and of a brownish color. The kernels contain about 50 per cent. of oil, which is of a yellow color, varying in shade. It has a slight odor, and a bitter, burning taste. It is a speedy and powerful purgative, in the dose of one or two drops. In larger quantities it produces vomiting and great pain, and is sometimes fatal in its effects. It has been long used in India, and was known in Europe as early as 1630, but attracted little notice. An acrid principle may be extracted from it by frequent shaking with alcohol, a bland oil being left behind. This, however, redevelops the acrid principle upon being combined with an alkali. On account of the smallness of the dose and the promptness of its action, it is sometimes employed where other medicines would be difficult of administration, especially in the case of patients who are in a comatose state. Externally applied, it produces inflammation of the skin and a pustular eruption sufficiently resembling that of smallpox to deceive a careless or inexperienced observer.
It is sometimes used as a counter-irritant. - A pseudo croton oil has been obtained from the seeds of jatropha curcas, curcas purgans, or the physic-nut tree, and also from croton pavana.