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Brand Name: Castor Oil Latin Name:Ricinus communis                          Other names: Castor Bean, Mexico Seed, Oil Plant, Palma Christi                                                   A Remedy For                                                             Constipation                                                 Taken internally, Castor Oil is also used as a treatment for intestinal                                                 inflammation and worms. Powder from the Castor bean and leaves is                                                 applied externally to relieve skin inflammation, boils, abscesses, earache                                                   (otitis media), and migraine, although there's no proof of its effectiveness                       for these ailments. In Asian medicine, Castor Oil is used as a remedy for                       joint pain, dry stool, indigestion, facial paralysis, boils, and ulcers.                         Homeopathic practitioners prescribe it for digestive ailments.                                                   What It Is; Why It Works                          Castor Oil has been used as a laxative since antiquity. It's mentioned by                       the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, and beans from the Castor plant                       have been found in Egyptian tombs. The plant can be found from                         temperate latitudes to the tropics.                                                   Castor Oil's laxative effect stems from its ability to prevent absorption of                       liquids from the intestinal tract. While the oil is relatively safe, the beans                       are extremely poisonous (as few as 12 can be fatal), and they should                         never be taken internally. They can cause severe fluid loss and lethal                         circulatory collapse.                                                   Avoid If...                          Don't take Castor Oil if you have nausea, vomiting, an intestinal blockage,                       appendicitis, severe inflammatory intestinal disease, or any abdominal                         pain of unknown origin. Not recommended for pregnant and nursing women                       and children under 12.                                                   Special Cautions                          Habitual use of Castor Oil discourages normal activity in the intestinal                       tract, leading to laxative dependence. Prolonged use can also result in an                       unhealthy depletion of minerals, particularly potassium. In rare cases, an                       allergic skin rash may develop.                                                   Possible Drug Interactions                          Potassium depletion due to habitual use can increase the body's                         sensitivity to certain heart medications, such as digitalis and digoxin                       (Lanoxin).                                                 Special Information If You Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding                                                 Do not use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.                                                   How to Prepare                          Castor Oil is supplied commercially.                                                   Typical Dosage                          For acute constipation or worms, the dose is at least 10 grams (2                         teaspoonfuls). Follow the manufacturer's directions whenever available.                                                   Overdosage                          An overdose will irritate the stomach, leading to queasiness, vomiting,                       cramps, and severe diarrhea. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical                         attention immediately.