Castor Ricinus communis

Ricinus communis
Ricinus communis - Castor plant
  • Common Names
  • Castor Oil
  • Botanical Name
  • Ricinus communis
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Castor Oil

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How to Use: Castor

One of the most time honored home remedies for constipation, castor oil was the bane of childhood for those of us who were subjected to a daily dose of this rather vile tasting oil. But don't let that dissuade you from using castor oil externally, it is a wonderful analgesic oil when applied externally for all kinds of pain including: sore muscles and arthritis pain, bruising, lower back pain, and nerve damage. 2Castor oil packs are well suited to the slow relief of chronic pain and swelling. Castor oil forms a protective surface when used in cosmetic and skin care formulations that acts as a protective barrier for skin. 1

Preparation Methods & Dosage :For constipation, follow package directions, starting with the smallest dosage for your body weight and age. It takes up to 12 hours to work. Not for extended periods. Externally castor oil can be applied directly to the skin, and is commonly used in conjunction with heat packs for lower back pain.

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Castor Remedies

Ayurvedic Medicine ayurvedic medicinea Castor oil is pungent and sweet with a heating energy and is applied in oil packs and massage oils for pain relief.

Castor Side Effects: Seeds and leaves are poisonous, the treated oil is not.

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Plant Description

  • Plant Class: Tropical evergreen shrub
  • Etymology: From the Latinricinus - mottled seeds resembled ticks.
  • Flowers/Fruit/Seeds:Petaless female flowers are followed by spiky, red seed capsules containing 3 gray-brown seeds each
  • Parts used: Seed Oil
  • Leaves:Large, toothed leaves, may be bronze or maroon in cultivars
  • Distribution: Native to the Middle East and Northern Africa, and castor was introduced to the United States tropical islands of HI, PR, and VI Grown as a ornamental annual in temperate zones

Regional Traditions :African * Middle East * Tropical islands *

How to Grow Castor

Ornamental annual. Cultivars have large, bronze or maroon leaves that provide dramatic backdrops to gardens.

books citedWorks Cited
  1. Dweck AC. The internal and external use of medicinal plants. Clin Dermatol. 2009;27: 148-158. American Botanical Council
    Castor (Ricinus communis) bean oil is very glossy, thus used in lip salves, and highly occlusive for wetness protection. Castor oil plus zinc is a common diaper rash ointment.
  2. Yarnell, Eric. Misunderstood "Toxic Herbs" Alternative & Compementary Therapies. February 1999.:6-11. American Botanical Council
    Topical application of chaparral in castor (Ricinus communis) oil is used for dysmenorrhea, intestinal cramping and applied to the joints for mitigating pain in rheumatoid complaints