Croton Oil - Health Benefits,Uses,Properties
Croton Oil - Health Benefits,Uses,Properties

Croton oil the most poisonous yet useful oil is produced from the Croton seeds obtained from the flowering plant Croton.

Now the first question that gets into your mind is that how can such a poisonous liquid be useful as an herbal oil.

Well, the oil is extracted from this plant by using cold pressed method or solvent extraction to extract more oil.

This plant is also referred to as rushfoil. Croton oil can be poisonous but can also be lethal. It is used for exfoliation of the skin and to make chemical skin peels.

It is also used for many industrial purposes. The oil blends well with lavender and rosemary essential oils. This oil is rarely used in aromatherapy.

Before we discuss the uses and benefits, we will discuss the properties it exhibits.


Croton Oil Plant
Croton Oil Plant

Croton oil along with its uses has some powerful and unique therapeutic effects. Here are the harmful and useful properties of this oil.

1. Irritant:

It acts as an irritant on your skin if you apply it.

2. Exfoliant:

It scales off the outer layer of your skin.

3. Inflammatory:

It causes inflammation when applied on your skin and has a sharply negative reaction.

4. Pain Inducer:

When applied on your skin it can cause sharp pain and acts exactly opposite of analgesia.

5. Cytocidal:

Croton is known for its cytocidal properties as they kill the individual cells which help in cancer treatment.

6. Cathartic:

It can lead to diarrhoea if it is taken internally. It is used as a cathartic to cleanse the intestines but to use this you need an expertise knowledge.

You need to know the right concentration that has to be used.

7. Tumor:

The compound called phorbol esters present in this oil has tumour promoting effects.

8. Anti-helminthic:

Used to kill intestinal parasites present in your body.

Now we can proceed with the health benefits it has for you.


1. Skin Exfoliator:

This acts as a skin exfoliator. This oil is usually used in the chemical peels which are prepared for your skin exfoliation. Phenol, croton chemical peel, is the most commonly used peel.

When this is applied to your skin, it scales off the thin layer of outermost skin layer which is the epidermis. This may have a deep burning sensation and pain on your skin.

The visible redness of this will take two weeks to heal. The most important part comes when the skin heals itself, and the elastin and collagen fibres fill up space.

This will help you flatten the wrinkles, depression scars, raised scars and fine lines which are formed on your skin. You can also try home facial methods.

But these peels are not at all helpful on your skin conditions like stretch marks because it doesn’t exhibit any effect on the dermis part of your skin.

With its useful exfoliating effect it also has many strong side effects and risks which may lead to redness, burning and sharp pain on your skin.

Be careful and know about your skin from any professional before you start using it. I advise you not to use this before prior knowledge.

In some sensitive cases, this oil may scrape off your skin up to dermis which may lead to complications. These peels have very strong effects of anti-aging.

As these oils have tumour promoting tendencies, they should not be used for long periods of time.

2. Counter Irritant:

Croton oil many times causes irritation on your skin when applied, but this can also be used as a counter irritant.

The oil can be used in low concentration on the skin to divert the mind to some other place on the skin which is suffering from inflammation and severe irritation.

This can only be used as a counter only if the patient has had some side effects and troubles because of croton oil.

3. Constipation:

In ancient China, croton oil was used to treat constipation and hence used as Chinese medicine. It is even now used for the same purpose. If you want you can try the natural ways to cure constipation here.

It is always better if you use this oil under the supervision of a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.

4. Intestinal parasites:

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection caused because of the intestinal parasite Schistosoma. So croton oil can be used if you want to get rid of this infection.

5. Anti-cancer:

Croton species are known for their cytocidal effect on cancerous cells although they are still being studied. If it is verified, then croton oil can be used for treating cancer.

This oil is also helpful in dealing with skin eruption and eczema. It is also used to treat urticaria.

Now, we will discuss all the uses of this oil.


Croton oil is used for many purposes. It is also used in industries.

It is used to treat urticaria by using it as an ingredient in liniment formulation. Pain can be reduced when used singly and in the right combination. It helps in lowering pain, discomfort and stiffness.

The biodiesel that is extracted from Croton Digium is more efficient in the production of jatropha.

It is applied directly to the skin for joint pains, nerve and muscle pains. It can be regarded as a home remedy to treat gout and bronchitis.


Like any other oil, even this has its major side effects. It leads to irritation and chemical burns on the skin.

It can sometimes damage tissues, blood vessel, and nerves. The oil may also lead to permanent scarring if not used in right concentration. It may also pose the risk of tumours.

Pregnant women and kids should not use this oil as it can have a bad effect on them. Consult a doctor before you use this oil.


Dr. Anand Ashok Buchake is an expert in the field of Ayurveda and works as medical practitioner. His expertise in the field of Ayurveda is proven from the fact that he was the topper in the final MD examination in the subject Dravyaguna in the year 2002 at Pioneer international university of Ayurveda, also known as the Gujarat Ayurveda University.He is associated with many reputed organizations such as the American Heart Association ACLS and BSL Course in South Africa.