Castor bean - a poisonous seed

Castor bean - a poisonous seed
Castor oil plant is the second most poisonous plant in the world, which originated in India and southeastern parts of Africa. The scientific name of castor oil plant is Ricinus communis. This plant is known for its toxicity because of its seeds (castor beans). These castor plants are preferred to be grown as ornamental plants. Castor plant seeds (beans) are found to be more poisonous due to the presence of a toxin called "ricin". This ricin prevents cells from producing proteins, resulting in cell death. Cell is the functional unit of life; if it is dead, it will result in death of human beings. Symptoms can be observed, such as pain in throat, mouth and abdomen, bloody diarrhoea and vomiting. Humans are more delicate to castor seeds because they can kill a normal adult person within 2 days. 1-4 seeds are enough to kill a human. Children usually play with these seeds; if the ricin penetrates into the skin, it will be fatal. Apart from various advantages of the plant, there are few things that need to be considered before planting and using it. It may endanger life, if we are not aware of it. Currently, this plant holds the Guinness world record for being the most poisonous plant in the world.

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How to cite this article:
Rajavenu Radhakrishnan. Castor bean - a poisonous seed. BioLim O-Media. 20 , 5-31. 1(2).
Available from: http://archive.biolim.org/omedia/read/BOMA0032.