Castor Plant / Castor Oil Benefits & Uses
Castor Plant Summary
Scientific Name: Ricinus Communis
Family Name: Euphorbiaceae
Other Names: Castor, Castor Bean, Palma Christi, Ricin, Wonder Tree, Krapata, Djarak, Reer, Mexico Seed, Castor Oil Plant, Castor Oil Bush
Habitat: Common in distributed areas and waste land. The plant is cultivated widely today in the tropics and subtropics and in temperate latitudes where maize thrives.
Part Used Medicinally
Castor Leaves, Castor Seeds, Castor Roots, Castor Oil.
Uses of the Castor Plant
Leaves: Castor leaves are used externally by nursing mothers to increase the flow of milk. Juice from the leaves of the Castor plant is used against rheumatism, headache, dropsy (edema), abscesses, ringworms, and warts.
Oil: In traditional medicine it is used internally for acute constipation, intestinal inflammation, for removal of worms, and as a form of birth control. Has marked action on gastro-intestinal tract. Increase the quantity of milk in nursing women. Vomiting and purging. Languor and weakness.
Castor Oil is a natural emollient and can be applied to the skin and hair as a softener. Castor Oil is used for temporary constipation. It has also been used for colic and acute diarrhea due to slow digestion.
Castor Oil can support labour and delivery. Inflammation of the middle ear, inflammatory skin disorders, furuncles, carbuncles, and abscesses.
External: Externally Castor Oil is used to treat ringworm and itch. Castor oil is commonly used for the preparation of hair-oils, hair fixers and aromatic perfumes. It is used as an ingredient in hair lotions and tonics in concentrations of 0.5-20 per cent. Leaves applied to the head to relieve headache and as a poultice for boils. Oil used externally for dermatitis and eye ailments.
Chinese Medicine: In China, Castor Oil is used to treat sore throat, facial paralysis, dry stool, furuncles, ulcers and festering inflammation of the skin.
Indian Medicine: In India, the drug is used for dyspeptic complaints and joint pains.
Homeopathic Uses: Ricinus communis is used to treat diarrhea.
Precautions and Adverse Reactions
General: No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages of Castor Oil. Allergic skin rashes have been observed in rare cases.
Pregnancy: Not to be used during pregnancy.
Overdosage: can lead to gastric irritation with nausea, vomiting, colic and severe diarrhea. Long-term use leads to loss of electrolytes, especially potassium ions. This effect may lead to hyper-aldosteronism, inhibition of intestinal motility and enhancement of the effect of cardioactive steroids.
Castor beans are severely poisonous due to the toxic lectin content. 12 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 hypovolemic shock.
Product offered: Seeds, roots, oil, leaves
Internally — for acute constipation or as a laxative against worms, at least 5 (x2 g) or 10 (x1 g) capsules must be taken; Caster Oil is also available in compound preparations.
Externally — a paste made of ground seeds is applied to the affected skin areas twice daily. A course of treatment takes up to 15 days
Castor Oil Plant (Ricinus communis L.): Botany, Ecology and Uses
PDR for Herbal Medicines
William Boericke – Pocket Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica
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