Ricini Semina, commonly known as Castor Seeds are part of the ripe seeds of the plant Ricinus communis, a member of the Euphorbiacæ family, also known as the spurge family.
Synonyms - Semina Palmæ Christi
Habitat - Indigenous to Southern Asia
Uses - Pressed to obtain Castor Oil which is incredibly versatile. Castor oil is regarded as a most valuable laxative and is administered as treatment for intestinal parasites such as tapeworms. It is also an effective demulcent - relieves irritation of mucous membranes by forming a protective film. Castor oil is often used to create soap as it hardens well to create a clean, odourless solid. It is popularly sold as a beauty product, due to its conditioning properties when applied to the skin and hair. It is also widely used in industrial products.
Characteristics - A nauseous taste which usually requires masking with another ingredient such as lemon or peppermint. The oil obtained from the seeds is very pale yellow, almost colourless. They are oval shaped and contained in a subglobular, grooved capsule. Each seed is about sixteen millimetres long and ten millimetres wide. They are somewhat flattened, smooth greyish in colour with yellow brownish and red brownish spots and lines.