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Herb of the Month


(Botanical Name - Caster Seed / Ricinus communis Linn)


It is a tall shrub, sometimes becoming treelike. Leaves very large, broad, roundest in outline but partly divided into 7 (sometimes 9) lobes, margins toothed. Flowers large, in big terminal bunches. Fruit a prickly capsule, rather marked into six parts. Seeds oblong, seed coat crustaceous. One form of this plants is almost perennial with woody stems and large red seeds. This is said to yield an oil suitable only for illumination and lubrication. The other form which is grown as an annual crop, has gray and brown mottled seeds, these yields oil suitable for medicinal uses. there is still another form with purple bronze leaves, it is grown only for ornaments.

The castor is a small annual plant. It ranges from 1 to 7 meters in height. It has well-developed roots, with green and reddish stems. Which become hollow with age the fruit is a spherical capsule with small gray seeds with brown spots. Castor seeds were an important item of ancient Egypt. The oil was and is still, used extensively in local medicines mainly as a laxative, but also to soften dry and coarse skin. The Chinese have used the oil for medicinal purpose for centuries. The castor plant appears to have originated in eastern Africa, especially around Ethiopia. It now grows throughout the warm-temperate and tropical regions and flourishes under a variety of climatic conditions. It can be grown almost anywhere and this is one of castorís greatest virtues.

Healing power and curative properties:

Castor is used very effectively in treatment of rheumatic and skin disorders. It is a harmless purgative.

Frozen shoulder : For more details click here

Erand can be applied on frozen shoulder, gout & rheumatic swellings with beneficial results. A decoction of the roots of castor plant is very helpful in treating lumbago & rheumatism.

Skin disorders : For more details click here

A poultice of castor leaves is useful as an external application to boils & swellings. Castor leaves coated with coconut oil, then heated & applied over guinea-worm sores to extract the worms.

Dandruff : For more details click here

Castor oil if used regularly as hair oil, helps to cure dandruff & helps the growth of hair.

Constipation : For more details click here

Administration of castor oil as a purgative is very simple. About 30 to 60 gms of pure odorless castor oil is given orally with 250 to 350 gms of Luke worm milk. It acts just after an hour. Those who find it unpalatable can take it with ginger or gripe water. This reduces its unpleasantness, while destroying mucous & promoting healthy appetite. Castor oil is a simple, harmless purgative and can be safely used round the year without any rigid consideration & limitation of weather & the physiological nature of the patient.

Breast milk secretion : For more details about Breast Care Click here

Castor oil massaged over the breasts of lactating mothers (after childbirth), increasing the flow of milk, by stimulating mammary glands. Castor leaves can also be used to foment the breast, for the same patient.

Other uses : 

Castor oil massaged over the body, before bath, keeps the skin healthy & imparts sound sleep. Such oil over may be taken once in a week. Applying castor oil over hand & feet before going to sleep keeps them soft. Applying similarly over eyebrows & eye lashes keep them well groomed. A word of caution, large doses of castor oil as purgative during early months of pregnancy may cause abortion.

Ayurvedic Supplements that contains Erand :


Erand Pak

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Erand Oil

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Erand Powder

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