Elaterium or elaterin is the name of a plant extract that is used as a purgative. It is extracted from the juice of the fruit of Ecballium elaterium (squirting cucumber), which is native to the Mediterranean region.
Used for chronic cystitis with “constant, more or less painful sensation in the region of the neck of the bladder, where the urine passes in a torrent as if poured through the urethra, and where, after micturition, there is a violent, cramp-like aching in the parts, often extending over the whole lower pelvic region and thighs” (King); Also useful for deep soreness or tenderness in bladder, pelvis, or perineum, with tenesmic passage of urine loaded with mucus or muco-pus; constipation.
The squirting cucumber has been used as a medicinal plant for over 2,000 years, though it has a very violent effect upon the body and has little use in modern herbalism.
The juice of the fruit is antirheumatic, cardiac and purgative. The plant is a very powerful purgative that causes evacuation of water from the bowels. It is used internally in the treatment of oedema associated with kidney complaints, heart problems, rheumatism, paralysis and shingles. Externally, it has been used to treat sinusitis and painful joints. It should be used with great caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Excessive doses have caused gastro-enteritis and even death. It should not be used by pregnant women since it can cause an abortion. The fully grown but unripe fruits are harvested during the summer, they are left in containers until the contents are expelled and the juice is then dried for later use.
The root contains an analgesic properties.
No side effects are known.
None are recorded.
Source: HenriettesHerbs, http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/ecballium.html