Castor, Unguja Green (Ricinus communis), packet of 5 seeds, organic
Family: Spurge (Euphorbiaceae)
Hardy to Zones 10 to 12, otherwise grown as an annual, 50 days to a show plant, 100 days to seed
Seeds and other parts of the plant toxic if ingested. Educate children not to eat this plant or its seeds.
This type native to Zanzibar. Plants large and vibrant with green leaves. Even when grown as an annual, lends a tropical touch. Give full sun and plenty of compost. Direct seed in rich, composty hills in spring.
5 seeds per packet, Certified Organically Grown
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I have your book “Making Plant Medicine” and enjoyed many of the seeds you offer, which I love, and I’ve learned so much from just coming to this site to read the questions /answers. thank you.
I read the comment you left on this page about using castor (oil and leaves) months ago and have been thinking about it since !
I grew up in the middle east and castor was everywhere… growing freely. then years later in the US i used the oil to help with my menstrual cycle (with an oil pack). I feel very bonded to this plant and I now live in Ecuador where it’s literally everywhere. I’ve wanted to learn the right (and safe) way to make the oil but haven’t had the confidence without a mentor nearby. Hard to trust youtube, etc.
Any sources/ links to a trustworthy video / person / method that is safe to extract the oil and use the plant?
I would love to utilize it here and to help people ! most Ecuadorians aren’t familiar with it (not much of an ancestral connection), and yet it’s so abundant.
I just want to learn everything about it !
Thanks in advance and thanks so much for your work.
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Richo Cech –
Hello Tamar, Thanks for staying in touch and for your kind comments. Sounds like you really get around. Castor oil is made by grinding and cold-pressing the seeds. If you don’t have these facilities (and I found this out when necessity mothered invention) you can just smash the seeds and use them (externally only). Castor seeds are extremely toxic when taken internally.
Admin Richo Cech –
I never used this plant in herbalism (except in the form of commercially produced castor oil) until I got to Africa, and there I learned much about how to use it in (literally) barefoot herbalism. Traditionally, the leaves are steamed and poulticed against any swelling, athletic injury, rheumatoid condition, or (usually joint) pain. When I doctored in Paje on the island of Unguja, I cut out plantar’s warts, then used the fat from inside the castor seeds to pack into the depression, and followed up with a hot castor leaf poultice. Freeing people from plantar warts and helping them walk without pain made me very happy–African people have done so much for me, it was good to give something back to them. In the process, I learned that I could use herbs indigenously without relying on a professional preparation, a situation that lead me to greatly respect castor.
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