Croton tiglium Linn

Family ► Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat ► Tropical regions of India from Himalayas to Sri Lanka.

Ayurvedic ► Shanapushpi. Shana (var.).

Siddha/Tamil ► Sanal, Sannappu.

Folk ► Sanai, Jhanjhaniaa.

Action ► Juice of leaves—used for biliousness, dyspepsia, blood impurities, scabies and impetigo, both internally and externally.

Taraxerol, beta-sitosterol and linole-ic, palmitic, stearic, lauric, oleic, lino-lenic, arachidic, myristic and ricinoleic acids have been isolated from fixed oil of the stem.

Family ► Euphorbiaceae.

Habitat ► Native to South-East Asia. Now cultivated in Assam, Bengal and South India.

English ► Purging Croton.

Ayurvedic ► Jayapaala, Dravanti, Dantibija, Tintidiphala.

Unani ► Habb-us-Salaateen, Jamaal-gotaa, Hubb-ul-Malook.

Siddha/Tamil ► Nervaalam.

Action ► Cathartic, rubefacient, irritant. Used in ascites, anasarca, dropsy and enlargement of abdominal viscera.

The seed oil is purgative. It produces severe symptoms of toxicity when taken internally or applied externally to the skin.

Croton oil showed tumour-promoting activity on mouse skin. The skin irritant and tumour promoting diterpene esters of the tigliane type (phorbol esters) and toxins have been isolated from the seeds. (In China, where the herb is employed for the treatment of gastro-intestinal disturbances, the highest incidence of naso-pharyngeal cancer has been reported.) 1 ml oil is usually fatal. Phorbols (terpenoids) from nonvolatile oil are

Cucumis prophetarum Linn. 181

toxic. Crotin, a toxic albuminous substance, is not extracted in the oil. The plant caused haematuria and swelling of lymph glands in animals.

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