Pharmaceutical Latin: Fructus Crotonis
Common English: Croton Seed
Croton Fruit
Downward-Draining Herbs: Harsh Cathartics
Taste Temperature Entering Meridians Dosage
Large Intestine
Pills or capsules: 0.1-0.3g per day
Topically: 3-9g
Defatted capsules: 15-30g every four hours if necessary
Tincture: 0.05-0.1ml
Actions Indications/Syndromes

Warmly unblocks and vigorously purges (purges accumulated Cold)

Severe Internal Cold Accumulation leading to constipation, abdominal fullness, distention and pain

Food Stagnation

Drives out water and reduces edema

Ascites due to end stage schistomiasis

Breaks up clogged Phlegm and improves the condition of the throat

Difficult breathing, wheezing, and severe fullness and distention in the chest and diaphragm

Phlegm Blocking the Orifices

Promotes healing of abscesses and ulcers topically and kills parasites

Abscesses that have suppurated but not ulcerated

Severe ulcers

Stops diarrhea

Diarrhea due to Cold

Insecticide topically


  • Contraindicated during pregnancy.
  • Contraindicated during breast feeding.
  • Contraindicated for weak patients.
  • Use with extreme caution. It can be fatal.
  • Do not take this herb with hot liquids. It will severely aggravate its laxative effect.
  • To combat unremitting diarrhea, take rice congee or a tea made from Rz. Coptidis Huang Lian and Cx. Phellodendri Huang Bai.
  • A treatment for Ba Dou poisoning is a cold soup made from Sm. Phaseoli Radiati Lu Dou, or a decoction of Rx. Glycyrrhizae Gan Cao and Rz. Coptidis Huang Lian taken cold.
  • Avoid direct contact with the skin.
  • Antagonizes Sm. Plantaginis Che Qian Zi.
  • Incompatible with Sm. Pharbitidis Qian Niu Xi.

Rx. et Rz. Rhei
Da Huang
Rz. Zingiberis
Gan Jiang

Zhu Sha
Calculus Bovis
Niu Huang

Rx. Platycodi
Jie Geng
Bul. Fritillariae
Bei Mu

Accumulation of Cold in the Interior.

Phlegm Misting the Orifices.

Lung Abscess with cough, chest pain, and copious, fishy-smelling sputum.

Ru Xiang
Mo Yao
Sm. Momordicae
Mu Bie Zi

Sm. Arecae
Bing Lang
Rz. Alismatis
Ze Xie

Sm. Phaseoli
Chi Xiao Dou

Accelerates the ulcerating process topically.

Edema associated with swelling and urinary difficulty.

Edema and abdominal distention, shortness of breath and urinary difficulty.

Rx. Sophorae Flavescentis
Ku Shen

Ru Xiang
Mo Yao

Xiong Huang

Applied topically as a warm poultice for painful sores.

Sores that have not ulcerated.

Topically for skin disorders.

  1. It is traditionally considered the herbal equivalent of a battering ram.
  2. It is most often used in its defatted form and called Prepared Semen Crotonis Ba Dou Shuang.
  3. Croton Root, Ba Dou Gen, is a medium strength remedy, given for rheumatoid arthritis, hematomas, and snakebite. Dosage: 3-10g in decoction.
  4. This herb has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on the growth of cancer cells. When used for this purpose, remove the oil.
  5. For acute diseases of the digestive tract, take raw with the peel, kernel, skin and juice removed.
  6. For chronic diseases of the digestive tract such as Food Stagnation and abdominal masses, bur black and pulverize into a powder.
  7. This herb clears the bowels and cures diarrhea.
  8. It has been used topically for boils.
  9. For acute paralysis of the throat (which can be fatal if not treated in time), make a pill (Jie Du Wan) of 14 granules of this herb with 30g of Realgar Xiong Huang which clears away accumulated Qi and 3g of Rx. Curcumae Yu Jin which dissolves extravasated Blood. This pill is devastating and should be used with care.
  10. Both Ba Dou and Rx. et Rz. Rhei Da Huang are purgatives, drive out the old to bring in the new, reduce accumulation and harmonize the middle. Da Huang is cold and is used for Heat buildup in the Yang organs, has a low toxicity, breaks up Blood Stasis, clears Damp-Heat and relieves toxicity. Ba Dou is Hot, is used when Cold accumulates internally in the Yin organs and is very toxic.
  11. Defatted Croton Kernels (Fructus Crotonis Pulveratum) Ba Dou Shuang is less toxic, yet only very small doses should be taken . It is used to drain downward, attack Phlegm, soften hardness and grind down accumulations.
  12. The unripe fruit is more toxic than the ripened fruit.
  13. Dry-fried Croton Kernels Chao Ba Dou Ren is less toxic and less purgative.
  14. Sand-washed Croton Kernels Sha Yu Ba Dou Ren is less toxic
  15. Croton Husks Ba Dou Ke or Ba Dou Qiao also known as Croton Skin reduces accumulation, breaks up hardness, transforms Phlegm and is used for accumulated Food Stagnation, scrofula, and Phlegm nodules. Charred, it can alleviate dysenteric disorders.