The common names of Ricinus Communis are castor bean, castor oil plant. In Hindi it is known as Endi and in Sanskrit it is Eranda. The name Ricinus is derived from the Latin language and means ‘tick’, as the mottled seeds of the plant look like the insect.
Castor is native to Eastern Africa, southeastern Mediterranean Basin and India. But it grows well in all tropical regions. This plant has been under cultivation for more than 6000 years and it was widely used for cosmetics and oil lamps in ancient Egypt.
CHARACTERISTICS OF RICINUS COMMUNIS
Castor is a tall branched shrub which reaches a height of up to 4 m. The stem is hollow, erect and grayish green in colour when tender, and as it ages, the stem changes to brownish red colour. The leaves are seen in spirals with coarse toothed segments. The flowers are seen in terminal inflorescences which are green and sometimes red in colour. Male flowers have prominent stamens and spikes which are around 15 centimeters long. Fruits are greenish or reddish purple, spiny capsules which contain oval, large shiny bean like seeds with brownish mottling on them.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF RICINUS COMMUNIS
Ricinus Communis has several relieving properties that add to its therapeutic value. Some of these are:
- Its oil and seed (castor oil and castor seed) extracts have been used as an internal medicine in folk medicine for disorders like severe constipation, worm infestation, rheumatism, intestinal inflammation and also for birth control.
- The oil is used for external application to relieve furuncles, boils, headaches, inflammation of the middle ear, inflammatory skin disorders.
- In China the medicine has been used in traditional medicine for facial paralysis, sore throat, furuncles, dry stool, inflammation of the skin and ulcers.
- The root of the plant has been used for relieving liver disorders and different forms of inflammation.
- The leaves are used as anti-inflammatory and emmenagogue (stimulate menstruation in women).
- Castor oil is being used as a lubricant in the candy production, as a component of flavour, as an ingredient for preparing protective coatings for tablets.
Every 100 gm of castor leaves contain 24.8 g protein, 57.4 carbohydrate, 5.4 g fat, 12.4 g ash, 10.3 g fibre, 5.4 g fat, 460 mg Phosphorous and 2670mg calcium.
Castor oil primarily consists of Ricinoleic acid and in small amounts linoleic, stearic acid and oleic acid are also present.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
Ricinus Communis offers relieve to several diseases, ailments and discomforts. Some of these are:
- Constipation: Since ancient times castor oil is being used as a laxative. It has Ricinoleic acid which shows effect on the intestinal mucosa and results in fluid secretion.
- Worms: When castor oil is consumed it expels tape worms from the intestine.
- Arthritis, muscle aches and back ache: Castor oil should be applied topically for getting relief from general muscle aches, arthritis and back ache.
- Joint pains: A cloth soaked in castor oil should be used to cover the affected area. A plastic cling film can be used so that the cloth stays in place. A hot water bottle should be placed on the cloth. This application relieves joint pains.
- Insomnia: For sleeplessness and insomnia, the person is advised to rub a little castor oil on the eyelids before sleeping. Castor oil brings in a feeling of relaxation and sleep is induced.
- Skin infections: To relieve skin infections, castor oil should be applied on the affected area regularly.
- Stomach ache: For getting relief from stomach ache, warm castor oil should be applied on the abdomen and bellybutton. It relieves stomach ache or colic even in new born babies and helps them to sleep peacefully.
- Menstrual cramps: Massaging castor oil on the lower abdomen for cramps during menstruation reduces the pain.
- Swollen lymph nodes: Castor oil influences the circulation of lymphatic system and its application on the swollen lymph nodes will gradually reduce the size.
- Urinary tract infections: Applying castor oil on the infected part and leaving it for half an hour will reduce vaginal and urinary infections.
- Gall bladder pain: Pain in the stomach due to the presence of gall stones will reduce if castor oil pack is applied.
- Aching feet and corns: For tired feet, castor oil can be applied and socks should be worn to keep the feet warm. With this management corns and calluses also will soften.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING RICINUS COMMUNIS
Precaution should be taken before using Ricinus Communis for internal use. However, it is a relatively safe herbal extract. Before using any herbs it is advisable to consult a medical practitioner.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS THAT USE THIS HERB
Currently there are no Planet Ayurveda Products that have Ricinus Communis as an ingredient in them; however the below mentioned Planet Ayurveda products are useful in some conditions for which Ricinus Communis is used:
We at Planet Ayurveda offer the best management advice and prescribe herbs, supplements and Ayurvedic medicines made from 100 percent natural ingredients that are completely chemical and preservatives free. Our products are vegetarian and made from the best quality organic herbs. We are proud to proclaim that our products are never tested on animals. Opt for Planet Ayurveda herbal products and enjoy the health benefits in everyday living.