|Name: Castor Oil Plant
Name: Ricinus communis, Ricinus dicoccus
Names: Castor Oil Plant, Eranda, Vatari, Rendi, Bofareira, castor-oil plant, Mexico seed, oil plant, palma Christi
Amidamu, Amudam, Arand, Aranda, Audla, Avanakku, Ayrunkukri, Bedanjir,
Bherenda, Chittavanakku, Chittamanakku, Chittmani, Diveli, Endaru, Endi,
Eramudapu, Erand, Erendi, Erandthailam, Eri, Gandharva Haralu, hasthah,
Gemeiner Wunderbaum, Heran, Kesusi, Khirva, Miniak-jarah, Panchangulam,
Ricin, Ricinus, Sadabherenda, Verenda
The castor oil plant is cultivated widely in the tropics
and subtropics and in temperate latitudes.
Castor bean is an herbaceous annual plant that is found mostly cultivated in temperate climates, where it grows from 3 to 10 feet high. It is often grown in the northern U.S. as an ornamental plant The stout stem bears alternate,
peltate, palmately lobed leaves that may be from 4 inches to 21/2 feet in diameter. A terminal raceme of flowers appears in later
summer. The fruit is a spiny capsule which splits into three one-seeded parts. The seeds are smooth, glossy, black or mottled with gray or brown.
Used: oil, leaves, roots, seeds, fruit
Fatty oil (42-55%)
Lectins (0.1-0.7%): including among others
ricin D (RCA-
60. severely toxic), RCA-120 (less
Triglycerides: chief fatty acids ricinoleic
acid (12-hydroxy-oleic acid, share 85-90%)
Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
Cathartic, demulcent, analgesic, nervine, purgative.
The oil pressed out of the seeds is one of the most commonly used purgatives.
Castor oil is described in Ayurveda as the "king of the purgatives" and "king of
vayu disorders." Castor
oil acids are anti- absorbative and hydragogic.
Ricini semen exhibits proven anti-viral
enlarged liver and spleen
pain relief (joints)
promote menstrual discharge
promote milk production
Externally, the seeds and
leaves of this herb are used in powder form as a poultice for inflammatory
skin disorders, boils, carbuncles, abscesses, inflammation of the middle
ear and migraine.
Internally, the drug is
used as a purgative in the treatment of acute constipation, intestinal
inflammation, worms and as a form of birth control.
C.K.N. Nair and N. Mohanan,
authors of "Medicinal Plants of India," describe the application
of this herb in Ayurveda as follows:
"The oil, roots, seeds
and leaves. Many medicinal uses. Root-bark, leaves and oil are purgatives.
Oil used in rheumatism and many other medicinal preparations. Leaves are
galactagogue. Decoction of root is a remedy in phlegm, swellings,
stomach-aches, dropsy, fever, hernia, asthma, leprosy, rheumatic joints
and all pains in the wrist, head and bladder. It cures rheumatism and
stone in the bladder. Seeds ground and eaten cure rheumatism and liver
Oil doses: children- 1 tsp.; adults-2 tsp. - 3 tbs. in tea or boiled milk.
Decoction, infusion, poultice, leaf, paste.
For internal use: Take at
least 10.0 gm for acute constipation or as a purgative against
For external use: Use a
paste made from ground seeds. Apply this paste to the affected skin areas
twice daily. A course of treatment may take up to 15 days.
Caution: Do not use castor oil if you are suffering from kidney, bladder, bile duct,
intestine infections or jaundice. Do not use if you are pregnant or
No health hazards or side effects are known
if this herb is administered properly with designated therapeutic dosages
of castor oil.
Castor beans are severely poisonous. The
ricinus lectins prevent protein synthesis by destroying the ribosomes.
Allergy-related skin rashes have been observed in some very few cases.
Long-term use of this herb can lead to
losses of electrolytes, in particular K+-ions. This can result in
hyperaldosteronism, inhibition of intestinal motility and enhancement of
the effect of cardioactive steroids.
Do not administer this drug to children
under 12 years of age.
Overdoses of this herb can lead to gastric
irritation, accompanied by queasiness, vomiting, colic and severe
diarrhea. Twelve castor beans are believed to be fatal for an adult.
Symptoms include severe gastroenteritis, with bloody vomiting and bloody
diarrhea, kidney inflammation, loss of fluid and electrolytes and
ultimately circulatory collapse. Death is usually the result of
CAUTION: The entire plant, including the seeds, contains an irritant substance that poisons the blood. The oil is safe because the poison remains in the seed.
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