Croton Oil

Title: Croton Oil
Literature References: Fixed oil expressed from seeds of Croton tiglium L., Euphorbiaceae. Constit. Croton resin; glycerides of stearic, palmitic, myristic, lauric, tiglic, etc. acids; crotin; phorbol esters, q.v. Review: Hecker, Schmidt, Fortschr. Chem. Org. Naturst. 31, 377 (1974).
Properties: Pale-yellow or brownish-yellow, rather viscid liq; slight disagreeable odor. Poisonous! d2525 0.935-0.950. nD40 1.470-1.473. Sapon no. 205-220. Iodine no. 102-118. Slightly sol in alcohol, increasing with age. Freely sol in chloroform, ether, oils, petr ether, carbon disulfide, glacial acetic acid. Keep well closed and protected from light.
Index of refraction: nD40 1.470-1.473
Density: d2525 0.935-0.950
CAUTION: Potential symptom of overexposure is hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Direct contact may cause vesiculation, necrosis and sloughing of skin. See Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, R. E. Gosselin et al., Eds. (William & Wilkins, Baltimore, 5th ed., 1984) Section II, p. 228.
Use: Has been used as an irritant and cocarcinogen in cancer research.
Therap-Cat: Cathartic, counterirritant.
Therap-Cat-Vet: Formerly used as a counterirritant and a purgative.
Crotonaldehyde Crotonic Acid Crotoxin Crotoxyphos Crotyl Alcohol

Croton oil (Crotonis Oleum) is an oil prepared from the seeds of Croton tiglium, a tree belonging to the natural order Euphorbiales and family Euphorbiaceae, and native or cultivated in India and the Malay Archipelago. Small doses taken internally cause diarrhea. Externally, the oil can cause irritation and swelling. In traditional Chinese medicine it is used as an ingredient in some liniments.

Croton oil is the source of the organic compound phorbol.[1] Today croton oil is the basis of rejuvenating chemical peels, due to the caustic exfoliating effects it has on the dermal components of the skin. Used in conjunction with phenol solutions, it results in an intense reaction which leads to initial skin sloughing and then eventual regeneration. Tumor promotion activity was traced to phorbol esters present in croton oil.[2] Pure phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate is now used widely for laboratory study of tumor development.

Since croton oil is very irritating and painful, it is used in laboratory animals to study how pain works, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs, and immunology. [3]