Castor oil toxic???

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PrairieLights

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Last night I had a gentleman accuse castor oil of being toxic - containing arsenic. I do not see this in research. I see the ricin which is neutralized in the process of extracting the oil.....
Am I missing something?
His wife has cancer, so as we were talking about soaps, this came up. Guru DeeAnnna and others - please educate me.
 
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Seawolfe

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I know when I was undergoing chemo, one of my chemo drugs (Taxotere) had castor oil derivative as a carrier (that drug is notoriously hard to dissolve in anything), and I had to take lots of steroids to counteract reactions because, yes, castor oil derivatives are fairly toxic WHEN INJECTED INTO YOUR VEINS. So would a lot of other things I imagine...
 

Steve85569

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Gramma would give us a spoonful of castor oil if we complained about not feeling very good. " It's good for what ails ya".

Castor oil is used in massage therapy a LOT. There is a warning about using is on cuts. Probably to prevent it from getting directly into the bloodstream.

That's all I know about it other than it helps make good soap.

Steve
 

nsmar4211

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Water or air injected into your veins is pretty darn toxic too....deadly in some cases depending on amounts....

Soil has arsenic. Don't walk barefoot or you'll get arsenic poisoning!

Someone needs to stop reading the scare articles!
 

Arimara

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Gramma would give us a spoonful of castor oil if we complained about not feeling very good. " It's good for what ails ya".
Castor oil is used in massage therapy a LOT. There is a warning about using is on cuts. Probably to prevent it from getting directly into the bloodstream.
That's all I know about it other than it helps make good soap.
Steve
Grampa never gave that stuff to me. It was always garlic and something (OJor grapefruit juice) or one of his rind teas. I actually hated it when he added garlic to the tea but I'm still breathing. :D


Prairie, The castor plant, rather, the seed/ pods (can't remember now) are more dangerous than the oil. If castor oil was as dangerous as that man made it out to be, I'd be dead as well as many other people who applied it to their skin and what not.
 
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Dharlee

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Gramma would give us a spoonful of castor oil if we complained about not feeling very good. " It's good for what ails ya".

Castor oil is used in massage therapy a LOT. There is a warning about using is on cuts. Probably to prevent it from getting directly into the bloodstream.

That's all I know about it other than it helps make good soap.

Steve
I thought that was Cod Liver Oil
 

shunt2011

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And Castor Oil is used as a laxative. That's why it's carried in the pharmacy. No Thank you!!!
 

DeeAnna

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I can't find anything that connects castor oil and arsenic, except for the fact that both were considered to be remedies for constipation a century ago. For example, the book "Neurology and Metaphysics" by Charles McCormick, published 1905, contains this gem:

"...Constipation (Deficient action of bowels): Aloes, ammonium chloride, arsenic, belladonna, calomel, cascara sagrada, castor oil, chloral hydrate, cocculus, cod-liver oil, colocynth. croton oil, “dinner pills” composed of aloes and iron or with nux vomica, belladonna or hyoscyamus, ergot, eserine, frangula, gamboge, glycerine, guaic. hydrastis, ipecac, jolap, leptandrin, lime, licorice compound, magnesia, muscarine, manna, nux vomica, opium, ox-gall, physostigma, podophyllin, potassium, prunes, rhubarb. sodium, senna, soap, stillingia, strychnine, tobacco, turpentine oil, patent [medicines]...."

There is no question the seeds and other parts of the castor plant contain ricin, a deadly poison. A lethal dose for an adult human is 4 to 8 seeds. The ricin is deactivated, however, by heating the seeds when the oil is extracted. A legitimate reason to avoid using castor oil is that the workers who harvest and process the seeds are exposed to low levels of ricin and that causes serious health problems.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_oil and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricinus
 

PrairieLights

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Thanks all! :thumbup:

Cod liver oil is wonderful!!! But my cousin does still have nightmares, 40 years later, of my mother making her take it... (she was sickly).
Castor oil is wonderful too! But the workers.... can I send gloves out to them? Because I do love castor oil. It has such wonderful benefits.
I was so puzzled when he said that - and since he is trying to protect his ailing wife, I respectfully shut my mouth and came here to ask the pros.

Thank again. MWAH
 

IrishLass

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I've read a lot of things about castor oil, but none of them have ever mentioned anything about arsenic. I don't know where your gentleman acquaintance got that idea from, but color me very skeptical as to the reliability of his source.

The only possible connection I could come up with in regards to castor and arsenic is that castor oil is used in certain countries as a preservative to keep rice and other grains from rotting. From the admittedly somewhat sketchy recollections that I have from reading certain articles over the past few years, many rice crops (depending on where they are gown???) have high levels of arsenic. Maybe he's associating that with castor?? In any case, it has nothing to do with castor, but has everything to do with the soil/growing conditions of the rice.

Speaking of the laxative effects of castor oil, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica [ http://wayback.archive.org/web/20071014023531/http://britannica.com/eb/article-27762/Italy ] castor oil was used as an implement of terror of sorts by supporters of Mussolini's fascism in Italy in the 1920's. It is said that the supporters of fascism would beat with cudgels and then force-feed the anti-fascists with large amounts of castor oil before running them out of town. Doesn't sound very pleasant in the least. :sick:

On a more positive note, back when I was a new mom and was breastfeeding, the use of a castor-oil pack along with a heating pad helped to disperse a milk clot that had lodged in one of my deeper milk ducts.


IrishLass :)
 

songwind

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"...Constipation (Deficient action of bowels): Aloes, ammonium chloride, arsenic, belladonna, calomel, cascara sagrada, castor oil, chloral hydrate, cocculus, cod-liver oil, colocynth. croton oil, “dinner pills” composed of aloes and iron or with nux vomica, belladonna or hyoscyamus, ergot, eserine, frangula, gamboge, glycerine, guaic. hydrastis, ipecac, jolap, leptandrin, lime, licorice compound, magnesia, muscarine, manna, nux vomica, opium, ox-gall, physostigma, podophyllin, potassium, prunes, rhubarb. sodium, senna, soap, stillingia, strychnine, tobacco, turpentine oil, patent [medicines]...."
Good heavens. Not just arsenic, but belladonna, strychnine, turpentine? I guess the treatment was to poison the body just enough to kick it into "eject everything!" mode.

Clearly people in the Edwardian era were way more worried about constipation than I am.
 

IrishLass

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Clearly people in the Edwardian era were way more worried about constipation than I am.

LOL I think it probably stems from their fear (or possible disdain) of eating their veggies. Many were erroneously thought to be poisonous, which is pretty ironic considering some of the other things they would ingest as remedies. lol


IrishLass :)
 

penelopejane

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Thanks all! :thumbup:

I was so puzzled when he said that - and since he is trying to protect his ailing wife, I respectfully shut my mouth and came here to ask the pros.

Thank again. MWAH

When someone you love has cancer you read as much as you can and some of it becomes jumbled. Also people tend to get attached to one aspect and think it is THE answer to cancer. All you can say is that it food safe quality and try to understand their perspective.

Because they used a type of sugar in a scan to detect cancer a friend decided sugar caused cancer and didn't let her husband eat sugar again. It led to fights and diminished his quality of life for the short time he lived but she was convinced it would cure him.

Good to know about the seeds : (
 
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BrewerGeorge

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Because they used a type of sugar in a scan to detect cancer a friend decided sugar caused cancer and didn't let her husband eat sugar again. It led to fights and diminished his quality of life for the short time he lived but she was convinced it would cure him.

Good to know about the seeds : (
Had the same problem with my mother. If I had a nickel for every time she said, "sugar feeds cancer." I could have paid for her treatment. (Don't worry, she survived.)
 

HappyHomeSoapCo

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I did a lot of research months ago about castor, and there are many threads on this forum discussing it too. From what i recall, the only reason anyone would/could be against castor oil is due to the risk that the workers have with exposure to rincin. Its an occupational hazard, like many jobs in the world. Unfortunately, there aren't any substitutes when it comes to soap.
 
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