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Mulfarious Uses of Castor (Ricinus communis L.)
A. V. Ramanjaneyulu1*, G. Anudradha1, M. Venkata Ramana1, A. Vishnu Vardhan Reddy2 and N. Madana Gopal3
1Regional Agricultural Research Staon, (Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University), Palem, Nagarkurnool
district, Telangana state (509 215), India
2Director, ICAR-Indian Instute of Oilseeds Research, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, Telangana state (500 030), India
3Santhiram College of Pharmay, Nandyal, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh (518 501), India
Castor (Ricinus communis L.) bean plant has diversied uses as various parts of it can be used in agriculture, industry, medical, and ornamental
elds. It is an ideal candidate for producon of high value, industrial and oil feed stocks, which was due to high oil (48−52%) and recinoleic
acid (85-90%) contents. Its’ unique fay acid composion allows oil to provide economically compeve feed stocks needed for producon
of premium quality biodiesel, short chain aviaon fuels, fuel lubricaon addives and high value biopolymers. Further, various parts of castor
plant and oil are used against eye infecon, liver disorders and sexually transmied diseases. Castor cake nds applicaon in Agricultural
elds as a nutrient source. Its’ leaf can be used for feeding eri silk worms in ericulture. An aempt was made to document innumerable
uses of castor across various sectors as it was not done earlier. The arcles discusses future of this crop in the light of increasing demand
for ricin free castor besides expanding area and need for enhancing producvity.
Castor (Ricinus communis L.) belongs to the Euphorbiaceae
family. It is the sole species in the monotypic genus, Ricinus,
and subtribe, Ricininae. Both Ricinus and communis are Lan
words. It is commonly known as castor oil plant and is a so
wooden small tree developed throughout tropics and warm
temperature regions. It is believed to have originated from
Ethiopia (Africa) and India. At present, castor is culvated
across 30 dierent countries, of which India, China, Brazil,
Mozambique, Ethiopia and Thailand are the major ones
accounng for about 90% of the worlds’ producon. India
accounts for nearly 66.5 and 82.9% of world’s castor area
and producon, respecvely. Compleon of Dra genome
sequence of castor bean plant has been a successful story at
the end of last decade. Unravelling the genec informaon
of this mulfaceted crop is a boon for us to further exploit
its economic value (Ramprasad and Bandopadhyay, 2010).
Castor plant parts have immense medicinal value, while castor
oil has wide industrial applicaons. As all parts of the plant in
one or other way can be used for producve purposes, it is
called as Kalpvriksh (means tree of gold and precious stones)
(Ramanjaneyulu et al., 2013). The mulfarious uses of castor
and oil are enumerated below.
2. Agricultural Uses
2.1. Organic nutrient source
Castor cake is a by-product of milling industry and account
for 60% of crushed seed. Despite containing 30-40% protein
which contains ideal amino acid profile with cysteine,
methionine and isoleucine, however, it is not safe as animal
feed due to presence of toxic compounds such as ricin, allergin
and ricinine (Prasad, 2010). It is considered as rich source
of concentrated organic manure as it contains 6.6%N, 2.6%
P2O5 and 1.2% K2O (cake from decorcated seed) and 4.5%
N, 0.7% P2O5 and 1.9% K2O (cake from undecorcated seed)
and can be applied to Agricultural elds. It is mostly used for
sugarcane elds as this cake is not aacked by white ants
(Ramanjaneyulu et al., 2013). About 100 kg of castor cake
will supply nitrogen equivalent to that of 1800 kg of cow dung
thus potenal source for organic farming. Further, it can be
applied to any type of soil. It encourages soil microbial acvity,
promotes root development and winter cold hardiness.
Castor cake should be applied at least three weeks before
sowing of the crop and field has to be kept moist for
degradaon of the toxicants. Applicaon of castor cake can
also be helpful in reducing the cost of phosphac ferlizer
(Gupta et al., 2006). Kolay (2007) observed yield response up
Biofuel, castor, diversied usesKeywords:
Arcle ID: IJEP199
Received in 24th September, 2017
Received in revised form 18th October, 2017
Accepted in nal form 2nd November, 2017
A. V. Ramanjaneyulu
International Journal of Economic Plants 2017, 04(04):170-176 Review Article
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Ramanjaneyulu et al., 2017
to 6.57 t ha-1 when castor cake was applied to sugarcane crop
@ 90 kg ha-1 in Bihar. In pot experiment on melons, Azim et
al. (2011) reported 100% suppression of root knot nematode
and soil larvae population due to application of argan/
castor cake and both these cakes were eecve than neem
cake. However, melon biomass declined due to castor cake
applicaon as a result of phytotoxicity. As the toxicity makes
it unsuitable for use as animal feed, it results in a lower price
for the meal while compared with prices of compeng oilseed-
meals such as soya meal. This combinaon of high ferlizer
value and low price has resulted in an ever increasing demand
for castor meal from the organic ferlizer market worldwide
(Prasad, 2010). Castor stubbles and shelled capsules can be
incorporated in to the soil, which on decomposion can add
organic maer to the soil. Otherwise, they can also be ulized
in the preparaon of compost or vermicompost which in turn
can be applied to agricultural elds to improve the soil ferlity.
The leaf fall of this plant contributes both as surface mulch
and as a source of nutrion (Sudhakar Babu, 2010)
2.2. Biogas generaon
Biogas is produced by anaerobic digeson through anaerobic
bacteria or fermentaon of biodegradable materials such
as manure, sewage, municipal waste, green waste, plant
material, and crops by the breakdown of organic maer. It is a
renewable source of energy and can be produced from locally
available raw materials. Further, it is socially acceptable and
environmentally friendly gas. It mainly contains methane (50-
75%), carbon dioxide (25−50%) and small amount of nitrogen
(0−10%), hydrogen (0−1%), hydrogen sulphide (0−3%),
moisture and siloxanes with no oxygen (Richards et al., 1994).
It can be used as a fuel for cooking at domesc level or running
small scale industries. Besides, it can also be used to convert
the energy in the gas of a gas engine into electricity. In some
countries, like UK, biogas is esmated to have the potenal
to replace around 17% of vehicle fuel.
The use of castor cake in biogas generation resulted in
maximum digester microbiological acvity and gas output
(Lingaiah and Rajasekaran, 1986). It has been found that
methane content of biogas generated from non-edible oil
cakes is 70% and is higher than that produced from cowdung
(55-60%). Further, they have esmated and reported that
biogas produced from non-edible castor oil cake is much
superior in terms of gas yield (0.4−0.5 m3 kg dry maer-1),
volumetric eciency (2.0−2.5 lit day-1), methane content
(70%) to animal manure based biogas (0.18; 0.5−0.7; 55−60%).
The term ‘Ericulture’ is derived from the word ‘eri’ meaning
castor and culture meaning culvaon. So, rearing of eri
silkworms on castor leaves for obtaining ‘eri silk’ is called
as poor man silk. Ericulture has been proved to be an ideal
subsidiary occupation providing gainful supplementary
income to a large number of rural and tribal populaons. It
provides ample scope for employment and income for the
survival of those people without much capital and other
scope. Being a labor intensive acvity, it acts as a soluon to
the problem of unemployment and reducon in poverty (De
and Das, 2007). Benchamin and Jolly (1987) also idened
ericulture as an occupaon of “low investment and high
output”. This enterprise provides ample opportunity for
sustainable dry land based farming system for higher income
generaon. The most important fact is that ericulture goes
well with dry land farmers, especially in tribal region. On
an average, three crops can be taken up against the single
harvest in other dry land crops, which would be sucient
to maintain a family through addional income. Considering
the advantages of ericulture, many state governments in the
north east and south India has iniated steps to popularize
eri culture (Rama Lakshmi, 2012).
Tradionally ericulture has been pracced in north eastern
states in India on uncultivated or wild plants of castor
(Ricinus communis), kesseru (Heteropanax fragrans) and
barkesseru (Ailenthus sp.), payam (Evodia axinifolia) and
tapioca (Mainhot esculentum). However, castor is the most
important food plant for eri silk worm due to its’ good
palatability, good quality of cocoon, easy availability of castor
leaf because of its’ commercial culvaon for non-edible
oil. But it is less preferred in summer because of increase in
leaf phenolic content. Castor leaves can be used for feeding
eri silk worms in ericulture. Research results revealed that
30% defoliaon is permissible and the same can be used in
ericulture without foregoing economic yield. Besides, the
farmers can be beneed with an addional income upto
Rs. 6000 to 7500 ha-1 through ericulture which is a boon
for rainfed castor growers. Further, eri pupae is very much
relished by tribal people and is considered at par with muon
or chicken (Saratchandra, 2010). The neutral lipid of silkworm
pupae (Bombax mori L.) is a good source of alpha linolenic
acid (ALA), an essenal fay acid. Such poly unsaturated
fay acid (PUFA) is known to have posive eects on several
risk factors associated with coronary heart diseases. Due to
presence of linolenic acid to the tune of 43% in eri pupal oil, it
is considered as a good source of omega 3 fay acid (Prasad,
2010; Shankar et al., 2006).
2.4. Pest control
Castor plants can be used as a trap crop for pest control in
groundnut. This helps in reducing the cost of spraying as
pescides and will be sprayed only on castor plants when
they are aected by Spodoptera sp. The diversity in waxy
bloom on leaf, stem and capsule and variaon in capsules
spines attributed to certain pest and disease tolerance.
E.g. triple bloom castor types are tolerant to leaf hoppers
but suscepble to whiteies, while, single bloom castor is
resistant to whiteies but suscepble to leaf hoppers. On the
other hand, double bloom castor types are placed in between
the single and double bloom types with regard to whitey
and leaf hopper incidence. Extract of Ricinus communis
exhibited acaricidal and insecticidal properties against
the adult of Haemaphysalis bispinosa Neumann (Acarina:
Ixodidae) and hematophagous y Hippobosca maculata Leach
(Diptera: Hippoboscidae) (Zahir et al., 2010). Coee beans are
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treated with a mixture of castor and groundnut oils by the
malayali tribes of shervaroys to control storage pest in coee
(Mohapatra et al., 2009). Castor cake when applied to the soil,
protect the plants from soil nematodes, insects, and parasites
by acng as a natural repellant. The oil is oen used in the USA
to repel moles and voles in lawns. The populaon of plant-
parasic nematodes, Meloidogyne incognita, Rotylenchulus
reniformis, Tylenchorhynchus brassicae, Helicotylenchus
indicus, etc., and the frequency of the pathogenic fungi
Macrophomina phaseolina, Rhizoctonia solani, Phylloscta
phaseolina, Fusarium oxysporum f. ciceri, etc., signicantly
reduced in chickpea and wheat elds due to applicaon of
castor cake (Tiyagi and Mashkoor, 1995).
In India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, food grains
are preserved by applying castor oil. It helps to avoid rong
of grains of rice, wheat, and pulses thus extends longevity of
stored grain. In the food industry, castor oil (food grade) is
used in food addives, avorings, candy (e.g., Polyglycerol
polyricinoleate in chocolate) (Wilson et al., 1998) as a mold
inhibitor and in packaging.
3. Industrial Uses
Seed is the most important economic product of castor crop.
The castor seed contains 48-52% oil and has tremendous
industrial value. The oil is a colorless to very pale yellow
liquid with mild or no odor or taste. It is a renewable resource
and biodegradable. It is highly stable oil as it boils only at
313°C (595 °F) and doesn’t freeze even at low temperature.
Its density is 961 kg m-3 (Aldrich, 2003). It has high acetyl
or hydroxyl value, high specific gravity (0.958 to 0.969),
high refracve index at 25oC (1.477 to 1.487), strong dextra
rotatory nature (+7.6 to 9.7) but low saponicaon (179 to
187) and iodine value (82-90). This oil is unique in its chemical
composion and is a triglyceride in which approximately
90% of fatty acid chains are hydroxyl (ricinoleic acid) in
nature. Castor oil is the only source of ricinoleic acid. It is a
mono unsaturated, 18-carbon fay acid. It is an unusual fay
acid as it has hydroxyl funconal group on the 12th carbon.
This funconal group causes ricinoleic acid (and castor oil) to
be more polar than most fats. Industry uses 600-800 million
pounds of castor oil per annum.
3.1. General uses
Use of castor oil and its’ derivaves has been in vogue in many
industrial applicaons especially in lubricants, fuel addives,
hydraulic and brake fluids, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics,
paints, dyes, coangs, inks, cold resistant plascs, waxes and
polishes, pharmaceucals and perfumes. Further, it can be
used for producon of hydraulic uid, arcial leather, prinng
ink, rubber, recinol, soaps and greases (Ogunniyi, 2006).
Other uses include paints, varnishes and polymers, nylon
11 plascsrecinol, lubricang and heavy duty automove
greases, telecom engineering plasc, prinng ink, recinol,
lubricang and heavy duty automove greases (Azambuja et
al., 2006; Ogunniyi, 2006), refrigeraon lubricants, rubbers,
sealants, texles, washing powders, and waxes. Since it has
relavely high dielectric constant (4.7), highly rened and
dried castor oil is somemes used as a dielectric uid within
high performance high voltage capacitors. Castor oil due to
its high viscosity can be used for conversion into biodiesel
too. Its’ biomass can also be used to generate energy through
gasiers (Sudhakar Babu et al., 2013).
Most of the vegetable oils can be considered as aracve
alternaves to petroleum derived lubricants mainly owing
to their good lubricity and biodegradability nature, but,
oxidave stability and low temperature performance limit their
widespread use. Castor oil maintains higher viscosity even at
high temperatures and liquid at low temperatures. Due to its’
non-drying nature, it is regarded as one of the best lubricants.
Hence, it is extensively used in the manufacture of lubricants.
The producon of lithium grease consumes a signicant
amount of castor oil. Hydrogenaon and saponicaon of
castor oil yields 12-hydroxystearic acid which is then reacted
with lithium hydroxide or lithium carbonate to give high
performance lubricant grease. In fact, railways used castor
oil for lubricaon before 1914-1918. Now, castor oil is widely
used as a lubricant in jet, diesel and race car engines (Mc Guire
and Nancy, 2004). The viscosity of castor oil at 10°C is 2,420
cenpoise (Brady et al., 1997). However, castor oil tends to
form gums in a short me and its use is therefore restricted
to engines that are regularly rebuilt (eg. race engines). Infact,
castor oil was the preferred lubricant for rotary engines aer
engine’s widespread adopon for aviaon in Europe in 1909.
The methanol-fuelled two-cycle glow plug engines used for
aero-modelling have used varying percentages of castor oil
as a dependable lubricant.
Castor oil is the raw material for the producon of a number of
chemicals, notably sebacic acid, undecylenic acid and nylon-11.
Castor oil is used in the preparaon of sulphonated castor oil,
known as Turkey oil by adding sulfuric acid to vegetable oils
like castor oil. It is inturn used in coon dyeing, prinng and
leather industries. It was the rst synthec detergent aer
ordinary soap. Castor oil can be used in the manufacture of
soaps as it gives a certain degree of transparency to soaps
and shining and silky appearance to jute fabrics.
The following are the important derivaves which are being
exploited for variety of applicaons.
• Nylon 11, engineering plasc (the largest single use of the
• Hydrogenated castor oil (lubricants, greases and addive
in variety of formulaons)
• Dehydrated castor oil and its acids (coangs, inks, sealants
and related products)
• Sebacic acid (component of Nylon 6,10; esters as aircra
lubricants and plascizers for vinyl lms including food wrap)
• Ethoxylated castor oil (industrial uses in surfactants,
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emulsiers, lubricants in texle, coangs and cosmecs)
• Sulfonated (sulfated) castor oil (as surfactants, lubricants)
• Polyurethane encapsulants (electronics and
• Alkyl Esters (cosmecs, plascizers, lubricants)
• Oxidized or polymerized castor oil (coangs, inks sealants)
• Castor oil without modification in polymers, rubbers,
cosmecs, inks, coangs and a wide variety of industrial
• C11: It is obtained by pyrolysis of castor oil or its methyl
ester. It is converted to PA-11 through a series of processes.
Derivaves of C11 acid (Undecylenic acid) are used primarily
for anfungal properes.
• C7: Jasmine is the aroma related C7 aldehyde. It is used in
washing powders, soaps, candies and other perfumes
• C7 acid: It is used as lubricant, to improve the weedicide
• Dehydrated castor oil is used for conversion to Sebacic
acid, an important ingredient for the synthesis of Nylon bre.
Sebacic acid is obtained by alkali fusion of castor oil producing
2-octanol as the co-product.
Biodiesel, an alternave diesel fuel from vegetable oils and
animal fats is biodegradable, non-toxic with low emission
profiles thus proven to be an environmentally friendly
fuel compared to petroleum diesel (Meher et al., 2006).
Demand for biodiesel has been increasing due to rise in the
petroleum prices during the last few years. Support policies
by governments in dierent countries like Europe, Brazil,
Namibia and India gave a llip to the use of biodiesel fuels
for transport like the EU Direcve 2003/30/EC in Europe
(Vicente et al., 2007). The Naonal Mission on Biofuels in
India targeted to achieve 20% blending of biodiesel (B20) by
2012 with an aim of bringing 4,00,000 ha of marginal land
under culvaon of non-edible oilseed crops mainly Jatropha
(Lavanya et al., 2012). However, castor is a viable alternave
to Jatropha due to its shorter growing period, availability of
standard agronomic pracces for assuring good yields, good
yield potenal of 1500 to 1800 kg ha-1 in rainfed condions and
2500 to 3000 kg ha-1 under irrigated dry condions and 3500
to 4000 kg ha-1 under drip irrigaon and early maturity within
150 to 210 days aer sowing (Hanumantha Rao et al., 2003;
Lavanya et al., 2006; Lavanya and Mukta, 2008; Pathak, 2009).
Further, aer the reproducve phase begins, the castor plant
is able to connually iniate new racemes and produce seeds
(Severino and Auld, 2013). The non-edible seed and hardiness
of the crop with high oil yield potenal make it suitable for
biofuel programmes in waste lands (Sudhakar Babu, 2010).
4. Medicinal Uses
India has a history of using dierent plants in its indigenous
systems of medicine (Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha) that
dates back to 5000 years. Ayurveda records over 8000 herbal
remedies. About 6000 plants were used in tradional, folk
and herbal medicines in India (Huxley, 1984). Dierent parts
of the plant or oil from castor can be used as a base material
in most of the medicinal treatments. E.g., the leaf can be
used in the treatments related to anviral, biliousness, burns,
ear/head ache, malaria and night blindness while stem is
used for treatment of cancer and hypoglycemia. The owers
can be ulized against glandular and vaginal pain. Fruits
are used for curing tumors, treang piles, liver and spleen
diseases. Root bark is used as purgave, in aboron, ascites,
asthma, bronchis, carinaon (expulsion of gas from stomach
and intesnes), hypoglycemia, leprosy, pains, rectum and
rheumasm diseases (Borthakar, 1981).
4.1. Eye infecon
Conjuncva is a thin and delicate membrane that covers
the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the
conjuncva, characterized by redness and oen accompanied
by a discharge. It is a common eye problem when eyes are
exposed frequently or connuously to microorganisms and
environmental condions that can cause infecons or allergic
reacons. It can be acute or chronic depending on severity
of symptoms and the type of organism or agent involved. It
can be very easily transmied to others during close physical
contact, parcularly among children (Prewi, 2004). Leaf
decocon of Achyranthes aspire mixed with castor oil can be
applied on the head and body an hour before head bath to
overcome the problem of conjuncvis.
4.2. Skin diseases
Eczema or atopic dermas is a form of chronic inammaon
of the skin characterized by redness, itching and oozing
vesicular lesions (Armstrong and Johnson, 2011; Bershad,
2011). Other symptoms include skin edema (swelling), itching
and dryness, crusng, aking, blistering, cracking, oozing or
bleeding (Johannes et al., 2006). Powder of Indian birthwort
(Aristolochia indica) along with the oil prepared from boiling
Datura stramonium leaf juice is mixed with castor oil and is
applied on the skin against eczema.
Filariasis is a parasic and infecous tropical disease caused
by larial nematode worms and is transmied by mosquito
bites. The most spectacular symptom is elephantiasis -
edema with thickening of the skin and underlying ssues.
It affects mainly the lower extremities, while the ears,
mucus membranes and amputaon stumps are aected less
frequently. Castor seed paste is applied on eected part (feet)
Castor oil is mixed with copper sulphate and is used to treat
various skin ailments. Pounded leaves of Alangium salvifolium
are mixed in castor oil and bandaged on the aected part of
inammaon. Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease characterized
by dry red patches covered with scales and it occurs especially
on the scalp, ears and genitalia and the skin. The leaf of
Aristalochia bracteata along with the rhizome of Curcuma
domesca and seed of Piper nigrum are mixed with cow urine
Ramanjaneyulu et al., 2017
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and made into a paste and boiled in castor oil. Such mixture
is to be applied on the aected part of psoriasis regularly.
4.3. Liver disease
Jaundice is yellowing of the skin and eyes and occurs due to
presence of too much bilirubin in the human body. Bilirubin is
a yellow pigment which is formed due to breakdown of
dead red blood cells in the liver. Jaundice is an indicaon of
malfunconing of liver, gallbladder, or pancreas. Tender castor
leaf paste along with coconut water is orally administered to
the paents suering from jaundice.
4.4. Sexually transmied diseases (STDs)
STDs are also known as sexually transmied infecons (STI) and
are transmied between humans by means of sexual behavior.
Some are transmied due to reuse of drug needles aer their
use by an infected person, through childbirth or breaseeding.
Castor oil packs will improve White and red blood cell (WBC
and RBC) count within two weeks thus improves the immune
system in human body. Castor oil with arsenics and copper
sulphate are used in the treatment of syphilis and gonorrhea.
Though no. of drugs exist that can improve lymphac ow,
this task can easily be performed by topical applicaon of
castor oil. When castor oil is absorbed through the skin, the
lymphocyte count of the blood increases. This is a result of
a posive inuence on the thymus gland and/or lymphac
ssue. The ow of lymph increases throughout the body which
inturn speed up the removal of toxins and reduces the size
of swollen lymph nodes resulng in overall improvement in
Castor oil is a well-known general laxave useful in treang
painful defecaon called conspaon. In rural areas, small
quanty of castor oil is given to children’s suering from
conspaon which facilitates bowel movement.
Warm leaf paste of castor plant is applied on the forehead to
cure head ache. Leaf juice of Eclipta prostrata is mixed with
castor oil and applied on the head to reduce the problem of
dandru. Leaf extract of Abrus precatorius boiled in equal
quanty of castor oil and is applied to hair regularly for proper
hair growth. Mixture of fruit juice of Gmelina asiaca and
castor oil is boiled and used as hair tonic for beer hair growth.
Paralysis is the sensory loss of muscle function. A table
spoon of ash obtained by burning the castor leaves is mixed
with honey and given as diet to the aected paents (Kavita
et al., 2010). Castor oil ground with niger seed is applied
externally to cure piles and stula. Rheumasm or rheumac
disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems
aecng the joints and connecve ssue. Crushed leaves of
Cardiospermum halicacabum/Calotropis gigantea/Delonix
alata along with castor oil are bandaged on the tumours and
Ricinoleic acid has been shown to be eecve in prevenng
the growth of numerous species of viruses, bacteria, yeasts
and molds. This will explain high degree of success in the
topical use of the oil for treang ailments such as ringworm,
keratoses (non-cancerous, wart-like skin growths), skin
inammaon, abrasions, fungal-infected nger and toe nails,
acne and chronic pruritus (itching). The concerned area has to
be simply wrapped with castor oil soaked cloth or band-aid.
Therapeucally, modern drugs are rarely given in a pure
chemical state. Most of the acve ingredients are combined
with additives. Castor oil or a castor oil derivative such
as Cremophor EL (polyethoxylated castor oil, a non-
ionic surfactant), is added to many modern drugs including
• Miconazole, an anfungal agent (Fromtling, 1988)
• Paclitaxel, a mitoc inhibitor used in cancer chemotherapy
(Micha et al., 2006)
• Sandimmune (cyclosporine injection, USP), an
immunosuppressant drug widely used in connecon with
organ transplant to reduce the activity of the patient’s
immune system (Zhang et al., 2001)
• Saperconazole, a triazole antifungal agent (contains
Emulphor EL-719P, a castor oil derivave) (Sugar et al., 1994)
• Tacrolimus, an immunosuppressive drug (contains HCO-60,
polyoxyl 60 hydrogenated castor oil)
• Xenaderm ointment, a topical treatment for skin ulcers (a
combinaon of Peru balsam, castor oil and trypsin) (Beitz,
5. Ornamental Uses
Castor plant is used extensively as a decorative plant in
parks and other public areas, parcularly as a “dot plant” in
tradional bedding schemes. Some of the Ricinus communis
variees are used for ornamental purposes and they include
Gibsonii (red nged leaves with reddish veins and pinkish
green seed pods), Carmencita Pink (with pinkish red stems),
Carmencita Bright Red (red stems, dark purplish leaves and
red seed pods (Phillips and Martyn, 1999), ‘Impala’ (compact,
only 3.9 feet tall with reddish foliage and stems, brightest on
the young shoots, ‘Red Spire’ (6.6-9.8 feet tall) with red stems
and bronze foliage, ‘Zanzibarensis’ (6.6-9.8 feet tall with
large, mid-green leaves) that have white midribs (Christopher,
1996). The aracve castor seeds are used in jewellery, mainly
necklaces and bracelets.
6. Summary and Future Perspectives
The castor plant has been proved to be a versale and unique
non-edible oil plant with diversified uses in Agriculture,
industry and medicine. There is a huge demand for castor
oil for its use in biofuel programmes across the world due
to implementaon of Kyoto Protocol norms of the UNO in
reducing global emissions of GHGs. However, upcoming of
alternate remunerave crops like Bt coon and maize across
the castor growing zones in India have pushed the castor to
the backstage. However, keeping in view wide array of uses
of castor plant, there is s a need to conserve germplasm and
promote the crop on a large scale. There is a need to improve
International Journal of Economic Plants 2017, 04(04):170-176
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area, producon and producvity of castor by expanding the
crop to new niches like non-tradional areas, rice fallows, post
monsoon season and also to the areas with irrigaon water
shortage and persistence of wild boar problem. Besides,
site specic land conguraon and management strategies
for eecve soil and moisture conservaon in dry lands and
adoption of micro-irrigation methods will certainly help
improve the producvity.
Reducon of ricin or producon of ricin free castor besides
increasing recinoleic acid should be the agship programme
for near future. Transgenics should be employed to nd out
ways and means for controlling Botryonia gray rot (Botrys
ricini) which is responsible for poor yield and oil quality.
Augmentaon of trait specic germplasm, prebreeding and
genec enhancement, allele mining, funconal genomics,
proteomics, metabolomics, marker assisted selecon (MAS)
and gene pyramiding area to be deployed to solve bioc
and abioc stresses with a view to improve producvity and
oil quality. With the disnct possibilies of use of castor oil
as biojet-fuel and biolubricants through biotechnological
intervenons, the opportunies for castor producon and
use are unlimited. Indian must strengthen research and
development eorts on all aspects of castor including value
addion on priority to exploit and sustain the benets of
revoluon in castor producon.
Inter instuonal linkages must be established among Indian
Instute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Indian Council of
Agricultural Research (ICAR), Solvent Extracon Associaon
of India (SEAI) and private industries to work in tandem
with each other to strengthen value addion sector through
innovave acon plan. Central government in India should
facilitate value addion on a large scale through favourable
policy framework. So that India can maintain monopoly status
not only in producon and producvity but also in the export
of value added products.
The seeds, other parts of castor bean plant and by products of
its’ oil are widely used for dierent purposes in various elds
as discussed. However, the technology required to produce
innumerable no. of derivaves from castor oil is lacking in India
due to which the country is relying on other countries inspite
of being a global leader in area, producon and producvity.
Further, market rate for castor seed has to be enhanced in
tune with the other crops keeping in view the ever increasing
global demand for seed and oil.
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