Feb 12, 2014
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Family ► Euphorbiaceae.

Habitat ► Cultivated chiefly in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Orissa.

English ► Castor seed.

Ayurvedic ► Eranda, Chitra- bija, Triputi; Tribija, Vaataari, Chanchu, Manda, Uruvaka, Gandharva-hastaa, Panchaan- gula, Vardhamaana, Uttaanpatraka, Vyaaghrapuchha, Chitraa.

Unani ► Bedanjeer, Arand.

Siddha/Tamil ► Ammanakku.

Action ► Oil from seeds and young leaf—purgative. Oil is used in dermatosis and eczema. Leaves— used as poultice to extract the worm.

Root—a decoction is administered for lumbago and allied complaints.


The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn- dia recommends the decoction of the dried, mature root in rheumatism, pain in the urinary bladder, lumbago, diseases of the abdomen and inflammations; fresh leaf in helminthiasis, dysu- ria, arthritis, pain in the urinary bladder, dysuria, abscesses; dried seed powder in constipation, rheumatism, diseases of the liver and spleen, piles, lumbago, sciatica.

The root extract exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity against carrageenan-, bradykinin-, 5-HT-and dextran-induced rat hind paw oedema. N-Demethylricinine showed dose-dependent anticholestatic and hepato- protective activities in rats.

Castor oil, derived from the seeds, is a well-known purgative (dose 520 ml).

Castor seed contains toxic components (2.8-3.0% on whole seed; about 10% in the flour) which are highly poisonous to human beings and animals. The principal toxic substance is the albumin, ricin. Allergens and a feebly toxic alkaloid ricinine is also present. An ulcerative factor in the seed is reported. Like other toxalbumins, ricin agglutinizes the mammalian red bleed corpuscles. (Ricin loses its toxicity and antigenic action on treatment with potassium permanganate.)

Castor oil consists principally of ri- cinoleic acid. Stearic, oleic, linoleic and dihydroxystearic acids are present in small amounts. The strong laxative property of castor oil is reported due to the local irritant action caused in the intestines by ricinoleic acid formed by hydrolysis under the influence of lipolytic enzymes. (The oil should not be used with fat-soluble vermifuge, it may increase its absorption and toxic- ity.)

Dosage ► Root—20-30 g for decoction. (API, Vol. I.) Leaf—10- 20 ml juice; 2-5 g powder; seed— 0.5-3 g powder. (API, Vol. III.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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