Do not eat croton

People shouldn’t eat any part of the croton plant.All parts of the croton plant contains oil with violently purgative (substances that loosen stools and increase bowel movements) and irritating qualities, which is also suspected of being a co-carcinogen. Even dried plant materials retain their poisonous properties. Although certain South East Asian and South American tribes have the knowledge to detoxify croton leaves, it is a complex procedure. In Chinese medicine croton is used to induce loose motions.

There were few reports over the last couple of days that some people experimented to eat croton leaves, and resulted in abdominal symptoms; however those were not serious cases. It is a surprise why the director general of agriculture pointed out croton as an edible plant, while we have hundreds of eatable plants in the country.

Dr. Channa Jayasumana,

Head of the department of Pharmacology and Toxicologist in the Faculty of Medicine, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka

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