Croton is a small tree with spreading branches bearing alternate petiolate leaves which are ovate, acuminate, serrate, smooth, dark green on upper surface paler beneath and furnished with two glands at base that grows throughout China and other parts of Asia.
Croton plant is evergreen tree from 6 to 10 meters high. Now most of them are cultivated plant and in the wild it grows in valley, brook sides, wilderness, and woods sometimes. Its root, bark, and leaves are also being used medicinally.
Croton seeds are sometimes applied directly to the skin for muscle and joint pain (rheumatism), gout, nerve pain (neuralgia), and bronchitis.
Croton seed is a powerful purgative. Among the conditions croton seed is used to treat are abdominal pain and constipation, convulsions, profuse sputum, oedema and ascites.
Externally, croton seed can treat boils, carbuncles and other skin lesions. Croton seed is highly toxic, and is considered one of the most potent purgative herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.
As a result, it should never be taken by children or women who are pregnant or lactating, and should be used with extreme caution by other individuals.
It is typically used to treat skin conditions, such as itching, scabies, eczema, and rashes as mentioned before.
It is also reported to treat cancerous lesions and tumours and is a common homeopathic remedy for digestive problems, such as dysentery, diarrhoea and nausea.
The leaves of the herb are often made into a poultice and then rubbed onto an area of the skin where a snake bite occurred. In addition, the root is sometimes applied to skin areas that have cancerous lesions.
Other indigenous uses include treating intestinal fevers and inflamed or infected gums, in vaginal baths before and after childbirth and for haemorrhaging after childbirth. In Peruvian herbal medicine it is recommended for haemorrhaging, as an antiseptic vaginal douche and, topically, for healing wounds.