Croton eluteria

From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellnesspedia

Croton eluteria, commonly known as Cascarilla, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Croton, which is part of the family Euphorbiaceae. It is native to the Caribbean, including the Bahamas and parts of Cuba, and is known for its aromatic bark, which has been used historically in herbal medicine and as a flavoring agent.

Description[edit | edit source]

Croton eluteria is a small evergreen shrub or tree that typically grows to a height of 2-5 meters. The leaves are simple, alternate, and elliptical with a smooth margin. They are glossy green on the top surface and paler underneath. The plant produces small, white flowers that are unisexual, with male and female flowers occurring on separate plants (dioecious). The fruit is a small capsule containing three seeds.

Habitat and Distribution[edit | edit source]

Croton eluteria thrives in dry, tropical climates and is predominantly found in the Caribbean. Its natural habitat includes rocky and sandy soils, often in coastal areas or on the edges of forests.

Uses[edit | edit source]

The bark of Croton eluteria is rich in essential oils and has a distinctive, bitter taste. It has been used for various purposes, including:

  • Medicinal: Traditionally, the bark has been used in herbal medicine to treat digestive issues, fever, and as a tonic. It is believed to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties.
  • Flavoring: Cascarilla bark is used as a flavoring agent in the food and beverage industry, notably in the production of vermouth and bitters.
  • Aromatic: The essential oils extracted from the bark are used in perfumery and as an ingredient in incense.

Chemical Composition[edit | edit source]

The bark of Croton eluteria contains several compounds, including cascarillin, a bitter substance, and essential oils such as eugenol, which contributes to its aromatic properties.

Conservation[edit | edit source]

While Croton eluteria is not currently listed as endangered, its habitat is threatened by deforestation and habitat degradation. Conservation efforts are necessary to ensure the sustainability of this species and its habitat.

See Also[edit | edit source]

‎ ‎


Navigation: Wellness - Encyclopedia - Health topics - Disease Index‏‎ - Drugs - World Directory - Gray's Anatomy - Keto diet - Recipes

Search WikiMD

Ad.Tired of being Overweight? Try W8MD's physician weight loss program.
Semaglutide (Ozempic / Wegovy and Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) available.
Advertise on WikiMD

WikiMD is not a substitute for professional medical advice. See full disclaimer.

Credits:Most images are courtesy of Wikimedia commons, and templates Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY SA or similar.

Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD