Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Castor Plant

Many of us have orally taken caster oil as a medicine and hated it. Castor oil is taken out from the seeds of the castor plant, Ricinus communis.The plant, although originally from Ethiopia, has naturalized itself in India and other parts of the world. India is the largest producer of castor oil, followed by China.
The castor plant grows in all sorts of inhospitable places. Although some cultivars of it are grown by gardeners for the colour and shape of the leaves, one must remember that it is a highly poisonous plant. 8 to 10 seeds of the castor plant can kill a man. The poison recin is in the husk.
Castor oil has been used as a medicine since 2ooo B.C. to cure arthritis .
In Brazil, it is used as a biodiesel. Castor oil is used as a lubricant for racing cars.


  1. Wow what a useful plant! so interesting... the plant has both healing properties and useful ingredient for biodiesel... very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very interesting to read about its use as biodiesel, I just think of it as a weed as it is common here along the roadsides. In English gardens they grow an ornamental form with dark purple leaves as a summer bedding plant to create a "tropical" look.

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