Ricinus communis Linn.
Synonym: Ricinus africanus Willd
Sindhi name: Haran
Local name: Erand
English name: Castor oil tree
Part used: Seeds, leaves, root and bark
Ricinus communis L. is a tall, glabrous and glaucus annual shrub, reaching a height up to 4.0 m. Leaves are palmate. Flowers are large and monoecious in terminal, sub-pennial racemes. The glossy leaves are 15–45 cm long, stalked, alternate and palmate, with 5–12 deep lobes showing coarsely toothed segments. In some varieties they start off dark reddish purple or bronze when young, gradually changing to dark green, sometimes with a reddish tinge as they mature.1
Ricinus communis L. is a native of Africa. It is cultivated almost throughout India in gardens and fields. It also runs wild in wastelands.1 Castor is indigenous to the southeastern Mediterranean Basin, Eastern Africa, and India. Today it is widespread throughout tropical regions. Flowering and fruiting occurs during the greater parts of the year, chiefly in winter season.1
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases:
Ricinus communis L. leaves are tied on the nails affected by onychomycosis. The leaves are heated and placed on wounds and boils to heal them in District Jacobabad.
Castor oil seeds contain steroids, saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, and glycosides. The seed coat of castor contains lipids and a higher concentration of phosphatides. 7, 8, 9 The stem of the plant also contains ricinine, ergostfucosterol; and probucol components.10 The methanolic extract of Ricinus communis L. root contains lupeol and erandone.11 Castor oil mailnly contains the glycerides of ricinoleic, isoricinolic, stearic and dihydroxystearic acids, free ricinoleic, isoricinolic, stearic, linoleic, oleic and palmitic acids and a small quantity of palmitin and stearin. Castor oil also has alkaloids, ricinine and proteins like globulin, albumin, nucleo albumin, glycoprotein, a toxalbumin, ricin and some of the useful enzymes.
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/ Scientific studies:
Ricinus communis L. leaves are anodyne and applied on boils and sores for treating them.1 Castor oil is applied for the treatment of dermatosis and eczema.2 The ayurvedic pharmacopoeia of India recommends a decoction of Ricinus communis leaves for the treatment of dysuria and abscesses.2 The seeds of castor plant are used in scorpion-stings and fish poison. Root bark is used in skin diseases.3 Leaves of castor are tied on boils or carbuncles in order to burst it.3 Gel of the plant is useful in dermatosis and is good for preventing occupational eczemas and dermatitis.3 A Chinese medicinal ointment, “runfushaotangan”, made from castor is applied for treating burn and scald.5
Ricinus communis L. is antiabortive, antibacterial, fungicidal and treat carbuncles.4, 16, 17 It also possesss antinociceptive and wound healing property.13 Extract of Ricinus communis is known for its acaricidal, antioxidant and insecticidal activities.6, 12
- Dhiman, A. K. (2006), Ayurvedic Drug Plants, p. 131-132, Daya Publishers, Delhi-110 035, India.
- Khare, C. P. (2012), Indian Medicinal Plants, p. 551, Springer Puiblishers, New Delhi-110058, India.
- Joshi, S. G. (2000), Medicinal Plants, p. 188-189, Mohan Primlani Oxford & IBH Publishers Co. Pvt.Ltd.66 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India.
- Duke, J. A. (2002), Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, II, 161, CRC Publishers, New York, Washington, DC, U.S.A.
- By Xu, Yuxiang From Faming Zhuanli Shenqing (1991), CN 1055297 A 19911016, Language: Chinese, Database: CAPLUS.
- Zahir, AA, Rahuman AA, Bagavan A,et al. (August 2010). “Evaluation of botanical extracts against Haemaphysalis bispinosaNeumann and Hippobosca maculata Leach”. Res. 107 (3): 585–92. doi:10.1007/s00436-010-1898-7.PMID 20467752.
- http://www.inchem.org/documents/pims/plant/ricinus.htm#SubSectionTitle:3.3.2 Description, chemical structure, stability
- Sains Malaysiana 39(5)(2010): 761–764.
- Tan Q.-G., Cai X.-H., Dua Z.-Z., Luo X.-D. (2009). “Three terpenoids and a tocopherol-related compound from Ricinus communis“. Helvetica Chimica Acta92 (12): 2762–8. doi:1002/hlca.200900105.
- Pooja Srivastava, Jyotshna, Namita Gupta, Anil Kumar Maurya & Karuna Shanker (2013) New anti-inflammatory triterpene from the root of Ricinus communis. Natural Product Research. doi:1080/14786419.2013.861834.
- PRASAD M. K., RACHHADIYA R. M., SHETE R. V., Pharmacological investigation on the wound healing effects of castor oil in rats, International Journal of Universal Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Volume-1/Issue-1/July-August.
- Nadkarni, K. M. (1927), Indian Materia Medica, Volume I, 2nd edition, 1065-1070.
- The Wealth of India. A Dictionary of Indian Raw Material and Industrial Products, (1972), Vol-IX, , 26-47.
- Islam, T., Bakshi H, Sam S.; Sharma E.; Hameed B.; Rathore B.; Gupta A.; Ahirwar S.; Sharma M. (2010)Assessment of antibacterial potential of leaves of Ricinus communis against pathogenic and dermatophytic bacteria. International Journal of Pharma Research and Development, 1(12): 1-7.
- Abhishek Mathur ; Satish K. Verma, Sajad Yousuf, Santosh K. Singh, GBKS Prasad AND V. K. Dua; (Jan-Mar 2011). Antimicrobial potential of roots of Riccinus communis against pathogenic microorganisms; International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, vol 2/Issue 1/