Teste, who was among the first to use Croton homœopathically, gives a very interesting account of it. He quotes Trousseau and Pidoux as saying that it often happens that eruptions are developed on parts not touched by the remedy, in those who have been engaged in making Croton inunctions on patients. The face and the scrotum especially have been thus attacked. The itching which it causes, says Teste, is at first more tingling than burning (the contrary taking place with Rhus). The itching changes to burning (like the itching of Rhus) if it is taken in large doses or applied externally. The eruptions in which he succeeded were: urticaria; large copper-coloured spots almost like liver-spots: small red blotches, not very apparent, in thighs, abdomen, and genitals, of fifteen years’ standing-all accompanied with intolerable itching.
Two remarkable cases are recorded by Teste.
1. A delicate, cachectic, psoric girl of four had suffered for two years without interruption from a fetid discharge from the nose, less in winter more in summer. Before this she had a vesicular eruption on chest and neck, which disappeared of itself, being followed in three or four days by the discharge. After the failure of Sul., Merc. sol., Calc., on the indication of the previous eruption Teste gave Croton, and in less than a fortnight the disease lost three-fourths of its intensity, although it was in mid-summer. Six months completed the cure, the only other remedies given during the time being Lob. i., and Kreas.
2.The other case was that of a man of forty, very fleshy, who for fifteen years had been subject to attacks of gout returning every spring, except on two occasions when a most fatiguing and obstinate exanthem appeared instead. This consisted in an intense redness of the whole body, accompanied with a burning itching, especially in the hollow of the hands, at the chest, and behind the ears. These parts were the seat of a yellowish, plastic exudation, emanating from a multitude of small vesicles in close contact with each other, which were only distinctly perceived in places where they were less numerous, and where a greater degree of resistance on the part of the epidermis imparted to them a certain persistence. Each time this eruption broke out it lasted three months in spite of purgatives and the baths of Barèges and Aix les Bains. When Teste saw the patient he had neither gout nor eczema, but a dry, racking, almost convulsive and unceasing cough. Skin rather hot, thirst, a little headache, heat in chest, no dyspnœa. Sometimes, especially in the evening, but only for a few days, he showed a tendency to syncope. At the end of three weeks, having received no benefit from Teste’s treatment, the patient took of his own accord three tablespoonfuls of the “Syrup of White Poppy,” at bedtime. The cough ceased entirely for some hours, and then returned in its old intensity. But during the intermission the malady had come out on the skin, and at daybreak the patient found himself covered from head to foot with his old horrible eczema. He was almost unrecognisable, and in a state of the deepest anxiety and despair. He expected three or four months of it. Teste now gave Croton. The itching disappeared the same day. Within five or six days there remained not a trace of either cough or eruption. As the patient removed from Paris, Teste was not able to follow the case in subsequent years.
Conrad Wesselhœft cured a case of proctalgia in a woman of thirty with Crot. tig. 3x. The attacks came on after stool, lasting half a day, and preventing her from fulfilling her duties of teacher. There were no piles, only sensitiveness of rectum to touch. He was led to the remedy by having previously had another patient who suffered from a similar pain after using Croton pills; pain in the rectum came on with extreme intensity after straining at stool; and the patient (also a woman) was in agony for three hours afterwards, with frequent tenesmus. The pills were stopped and Nux v. given, and she was well in a week.
The eye symptoms of Croton are very strongly marked. Purulent ophthalmia, ulceration, and hypopion have been cured by it. Many of the symptoms of Croton spread from below upwards. Touch, pressure and motion <. < When sitting or crouching. Open air < dizziness and faintness. Drinking cold water while heated = complete loss of voice. Hot milk < colic. Diarrhœa is < in summer. Many symptoms are < at night. > After sleep.
The characteristic stool of Croton is a sudden evacuation in one gush, like a shot; followed by great prostration. Colic before stool; constant urging; < from eating and drinking and from every movement. The evacuation is yellowish or yellowish green. On the skin Croton produces erythema, erysipelas, eczema, herpes pustules. The antidote to Croton is Ant. tart. Croton antidotes Rhus tox. Some peculiar sensations are: produced by Croton: "As if the skin were hide-bound", (Also mentally hide-bound; can't think outside of himself.) "As of a string pulling from one part to another; from eyeball to back of head; from nipple to back with pain in nipple when the child nurses." "As if a plug were forcing outwards at anus." Cutting, sticking, stinging, stitching pains and burning stitches. Writhing in transverse colon. Guernsey gives the skin indications thus: "In any skin disease which itches very much, but the patient cannot bear to scratch very hard as it hurts; a very slight scratch, a mere rub suffices to allay the itching. Erysipelas that itches exceedingly." He also gives: "Otorrhœa when there is much itching."