Fatal Dose.—A single seed is said to have produced severe symptoms of
poisoning, and four seeds have caused death. Three minims of the oil have
proved fatal to a child, 13 months old. Twenty and thirty minims respec-
tively have proved fatal to adults, while recovery has followed half-an-ounce
of the impure oil.
Fatal Period.—Death may occur early in four to six hours or may be
delayed for three days or even more.
Treatment.—Wash out the stomach; administer demulcent drinks and
morphine to allay pain, and spirit of camphor and other stimulants to combat
Post-mortem Appearances.—The mucous membrane of the stomach and
intestines is usually found red, inflamed and excoriated at places. The
spleen is congested. The liver is congested and the kidneys may show
cloudy swelling and congestion. Occasionally the post-mortem findings are
Tests.—The oil should be extracted from the contents of the stomach or
other substances by means of ether after they have been slightly acidulated
with tartaric acid. After
evaporation of the ether,
the residue will produce
irritation or vesication, if
a drop is rubbed on the
inside of the arm.
The following chemi-
cal test is at times done in
the Chemical Examiner's
Laboratory at Agra:—
Treat the oil with
twice its volume of abso-
lute alcohol; pour the
clear alcoholic solution
into a concentrated solu-
tion of caustic soda or
caustic potash (upto 40
per cent). A brilliant
brownish-red or reddish
violet ring according to
the age or origin of the
oil indicates the presence
of croton oil.
Bamford7 recommends the following chemical test: -~
If an acidified alcoholic solution of p-dimethylamino-benzaldehyde is
added drop by drop to the residue (ether extract), a transient red colour
may be seen in the cold. On adding one or two more drops of the reagent, a
transient pale blue colour is noticed. On evaporating to dryness, the residue
assumes a brownish-purple colour, which changes to pale blue on adding a
. little more of the reagent.
Detection of the Seeds.—Croton seeds are £ inch long, 1/3 inch broad,
oval or oval-oblong, odourless and about the size of a grain, of coffee. They
are covered with a dark brown or brownish-grey shell, which on, scraping
becomes black. The kernel is white and oily. One seed weighs about four
grains. The seeds resemble very much the smaller variety of castor oil
seeds, but the latter are bright, polished and mottled.
7. Poisons, Their Isolation and Detection, Ed, III, p. 205,
• * *
• • * § •
Castor oil seeds (large variety).
Castor oil seeds (small variety).