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Ricinus (Ricinus communis)

Ricinus or castor bean (Ricinus communis) is a species of plant in the Euphorbiaceae, a shrub or small tree, up to 12 meters high, varying greatly in growth and appearance with various cultivars for leaf color, flower and oil production.

R. communis has alternate sitting, glossy, palmate leaves with 5-12 lobes and coarsely toothed segments, 56 cm wide, cylindrical patiole 35 cm long. The leaves have a dark reddish purple or bronze color when young, gradually turning dark green, sometimes with a reddish tinge.

Dlium Ricinus (Ricinus communis)


Flowers have no petals, male and female grow on the same plant in terminal compound flowers and are green or reddish in color. The male flowers are yellowish green and the stamens are cream colored, the female flowers are at the tip of a spike, inside an immature spiny capsule and the stigma is red.

The fruit is a spiny capsule, up to 3 cm long, greenish to reddish purple in color. Large, oval, shiny, nut-like seeds, very poisonous with brownish spots.



This species grows well in light soil such as sandy loam, contains organic matter, good drainage and aeration, pH 5-6.5, elevation 0-2500 meters, temperature 18-30C, rainfall 300-1200 mm/year and is tolerant of dry.

Three terpenoids and a tocopherol-related compound have been found in the aerial parts of Ricinus. Compounds named (3E,7Z,11E)-19-hydroxycasba-3,7,11-trien-5-one, 6α-hydroxy-10β-methoxy-7α,8α-epoxy-5-oxocasbane-20,10-olide, 15α-hydroxylup-20(29)-en-3-one, and (2R,4aR,8aR)-3,4,4a,8a-tetrahydro-4a-hydroxy-2,6,7,8a-tetramethyl-2- (4,8, 12-trimethyltridecyl)-2H-chromene-5,8-dione were isolated from the methanol extracts of Ricinus communis by chromatographic methods. Partitioned h-hexane fraction of Ricinus root methanol extract results in enrichment of two triterpenes: lupeol and urs-6-ene-3,16-dione (erandone).

Almost all parts of the plant are used as medicine. The leaves are used to treat scabs, eczema, itching, coughing and hernias. Root for rheumatic joints, tetanus, epilepsy, bronchitis in children, wounds, glandular tuberculosis and schizophrenia. Seeds to reduce difficulty defecating, cervical and skin cancer, visceroptosis, gastroptosis, difficulty giving birth and retained placenta, facial muscle paralysis, glandular tuberculosis, boils, sores, scabies, fungal infections and swelling.

Seeds are a source of castor oil and contain ricin, a deadly poison. Jatropha tree is the only plant whose seeds are rich in hydroxy fatty acids (ricinoleic acid). The presence of these fatty acids makes the oil viscosity stable at high temperatures and is used as a lubricant mixture.

Oil is used in the cosmetic processing industry, pharmaceuticals, paint factories, plywood industry, textiles, aircraft lubricants and explosives. Oil is also used as an ingredient to produce synthetic soap, nylon, ink, varnish and paint.

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Acalyphoideae
Tribe: Ricineae
Genus: Ricinus
Species: Ricinus communis

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