|Crotonaldehyde||Crotonic Acid||Crotoxin||Crotoxyphos||Crotyl Alcohol|
||This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (February 2012)|
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. 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. 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.