Castor oil

Spurge Family, the Seed coats are very poisonous!

Common names: Wonder tree, Christ palm, dog tree, lice tree

Latin: Ricinus communis


Castor oil can help relieve constipation.

His homeland are the Middle East and East Africa. Perennial, herbaceous plant that can sometimes be found as a small tree in certain areas. The plant grows very quickly and after a few years it can reach a height of several meters. The trunk is lignified, the leaves are noticeably large, long-stalked, shield- to hand-shaped leaves with 7 to 11 serrate lobes.

The stems very hydrous and red in some plants. The flowers appear from August to October and sit terminally in panicles. At the upper end of the flower panicle are the female flowers with red pistils, in the lower half the male flowers with typical yellow stamens. The fruits usually appear as red-brown capsules, smooth or covered with soft spines. There is a reddish marbled, bean-shaped seed.

Plant parts used medicinally: The fat one oil from the seeds.


The oil consists of up to 80 percent Ricinoleic acid glycerides. It is cold pressed. Unlike the seed coats, it is non-toxic.

The shells contain the toxic protein ricin, which is deadly poisonous. It is water and not fat soluble and therefore cannot be found in castor oil, it remains in the press residues. Ricin is highly toxic and causes nausea, vomiting, cramps, damage to the kidneys, liver and intestines and, after about 2 days, death from circulatory failure due to the clumping of red blood cells.

Medicinal effect and application

The Medicinal effects of castor oil already knew the Egyptians. The castor oil is above all as laxative effective and well known. Was used very often in the past, but is still used today. The oil is broken down in the small intestine, creating a slight irritant effect that stimulates bowel movement. One tablespoon is the right dosage. The effect occurs mostly 2 to 4 hours after ingestion a. At castor oil is less suitable for chronic constipation because long-term use can cause stomach problems.

Also in cosmetic products, like hair tonics, castor oil is used.

Side effects

Side effects are not to be expected with normal dosage. Overdosing can lead to nausea, Vomit and Colic to lead.