Castor Oil is obtained from the seeds or 'beans' of the plant Ricinus communis, which grows wild in most tropical and sub-tropical regions, but is cultivated mainly in Brazil and India. The seeds, containing 40-50 per cent of oil, are first 'cold pressed' in hydraulic presses to remove a portion of the oil for medicinal purposes, and the cake residue is solvent-extracted to recover most of the remaining oil for a variety of industrial uses.
Castor oil is particularly suitable as a laxative, being broken down in the intestine to ricinoleic acid which has a strong irritant purgative action. Apart from its medicinal use, castor oil is a raw material from which is derived sodium ricinoleate, used for treatment of gum troubles. It is used industrially for soap-making, as a high-temperature lubricant, in fluids for hydraulic systems, in the manufacture of plastics, in the textile industry, and it is dehydrated by heating with a catalyst to produce a drying oil for use in the preparation of such products as paints, varnishes, inks, linoleum and oil-cloth.
More by this Author
Apoplexy is a term, no longer in common use, for the group of symptoms indicating hemorrhage into the interior of the brain or upon its surface. Apoplexy was described clinically as early as the mid-17th century, but...
Poop aka Stools aka Feces. This is the term applied to the discharges from the bowel. They are also referred to as "motions."
The White House as it appears from the north. Photograph by David Lat. The White House is the official residence of the President of the United States, located in Washington, D.C. It is on Pennsylvania Avenue facing...
No comments yet.