#BlackHistoryEats / Day 03 / Castor Bean

 Photo Credit:  www.thedangergarden.com

Photo Credit:  www.thedangergarden.com

HISTORY /

  • Another name for the castor bean is the 'mole plant' because of their ability to rid gardens of rodents
  • They can grow up to upwards of 40 ft tall (and as much as 8-10 feet in the first season)! In West Africa they are traditionally referred to as "thunder trees" because they are believed to protect folks from lightening 
  • Castor bean seeds have been found in Egyptian tombs some researchers report that Egyptians used pressed castor beans to provide oil for their lamps
  • The plant is extremely sensitive to the cold and grows well in warm, tropical climates like Africa and parts of India
  • Oil from castor beans has been used in manufacturing artifical leather and rubbers, ncreasing uses in the industrial world

HEALTH + USES / 

  • Castor has many medicinal uses. Traditionally, it's been used as a laxative (to cure the bowels from food poisoning or constipation). In Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine it is considered the king of medicinals for treating arthritis. Castor oil was readily used as a laxative by enslaved Africans
  • Castor oil is said to prevent inflammation and boost your immune system. There is a very high concentration of ricinoleic acid which gives it it curative properties, but like many medicinal plants their is also a toxic element (i.e. the outside seed pods are toxic, once the oil is pressed from the seeds the toxins are left behind in the pod)
  • Jamacian Blast Castor oil is a raw, undefined form of castor oil and has been widely used in the Black Natural Hair community, especially as a treatment for alopecia areata and hair loss and thinning (I have personally used it to help restore parts of my edges!)