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Ricinus communis Castor oil plant Jarak Euphorbiaceae
 

Ricinus communis, Castor oil plant, Euphorbiaceae, Jarak

 
Ricinus communis, Castor oil plant, Euphorbiaceae, Jarak

Rounded, prickly seed pods follow the summer display of felty clusters of red and greenish flowers. The plants leaves are large, glossy and divided deeply into elliptical lobes.
All parts of the plant, especially the seeds, are extremely poisonous and can cause death in children.
Cultivation: This plant prefers full sun and fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil. It may need staking. Propagate from seed.
Folk Medicine
Considered anodyne, antidote, aperient, bactericide, cathartic, cyanogenetic, discutient, emetic, emollient, expectorant, insecticide, lactagogue, larvicidal, laxative, POISON, purgative, tonic, and vermifuge, castor or castoroil is a dangerous ingredient in folk remedies for abscess, anasarca, arthritis, asthma, boils, burns, cancer, carbuncles, catarrh, chancre, cholera, cold, colic, convulsions, corns, craw-craw, deafness, delirium, dermatitis, dogbite, dropsy, epilepsy, erysipelas, fever, flu, gout, guineaworm, headache, inflammation, moles, myalgia, nerves, osteomyelitis, palsy, parturition, prolapse, puerperium, rash, rheumatism, scald, scrofula, seborrhea, skin, sores, stomachache, strabismus, swellings, toothaches, tuberculosis, tumors, urethritis, uteritis, venereal disease, warts, whitlows, and wounds. The oil and seed have been used as folk remedies for: warts, cold tumors, indurations of the abdominal organs, whitlows, lacteal tumors, indurations of the mammary gland, corns, and moles, etc. Castor-oil is a cathartic and has labor-inducing properties. Ricinoleic acid has served in contraceptive jellies. Ricin, a toxic protein in the seeds, acts as a blood coagulant. Oil used externally for dermatitis and eye ailments. Seeds, which yield 4550% of a fixed oil, also contain the alkaloids ricinine and toxalbumin ricin, and considered purgative, counter-irritant in scorpion-sting and fish poison. Leaves applied to the head to relieve headache and as a poultice for boils.

  

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