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Ricinus communis


Also known as: Castor bean plant; Hand of Christ (Palma Christi)

Plant folklore; First known use of castor oil dates to ancient Egypt 2000 BC. Widely used as a lubricant.
Leaves have been used in the Middle East in a preparation to lengthen hair and as a remedy for eplilepsy. Used in Uganda as a lightning conductor; the leaves mixed with water repel soldier ants and the stem is used to filter alcohol.

Factual info; Oil made from the beans widely used as a laxative and tonic for children. Castor bean plants in a garden should not be allowed to flower and seed. Causes vomiting, stomach pain and dehydration. Death more likely so in children. Source of ricin toxin used to murder Georgi Markov and become a terrorist tool.
There is no antidote to ricin. It comes from the bean, the rest is harmless, which is why it does not qualify as the most poisonous plant in the garden.
Ricin though, is the most dangerous poison of modern times.

Image by Gray

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How strange that the oil can be in a childen's tonic,yet the bean itself is lethal.What a shame,as the flowers and foliage are nice

23 Nov, 2009


Sorry Amble...I can't keep up with all your blogs! I will read them all at the weekend.xx

23 Nov, 2009

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