Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Castor Oil Plant

Sitting next to those hollyhocks in the Tuileries I had mentioned a few weeks ago, I found an infamous plant by the name of Ricinus communis, or castor oil plant.

When processed, the seeds of this plant produce an oil that has been used for a wide variety of homeopathic uses. However, the actual seeds, if ingested raw, can be lethally toxic. The deadly ricin gas is also harvested from this plant.

Above you can see the showy seed pods. The seed inside resembles a kind of Mediterranean sheep tick , which is why the plant is called Ricinus (ricinus, in Latin, refers to ticks).


Sally said...

The Palma Christi

Castor oil is extracted from the seed of the castor oil plant, whose botanical name is ricinus communis. While it was Cayce who brought castor oil packs to fame in the 20th century, the oil has a long and varied history of use as a healing agent in folk medicine around the world. According to a research report in a recent issue of the Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, castor bean seeds, believed to be 4,000 years old, have been found in Egyptian tombs, and historical records reveal the medicinal use of castor oil in Egypt (for eye irritations), India, China (for induction of childbirth and expulsion of the placenta), Persia (for epilepsy), Africa, Greece, Rome, Southern Europe, and the Americas. In ancient Rome, the castor oil plant was known as Palma Christi, which translates into hand of Christ. This name is still sometimes used today.

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Anonymous said...

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pharmacy said...

Wow that plant doesn't look cute for not saying dangerous, looks like a wild plant from amazonas.

viagra online said...

wow i hear a case once here in the clinic about this but is weird even for me to read it on the internet i wonder if someone have been killed because of this, thanks