This is what the seeds look like!
The seeds that ripen after the flowering period, which lasts from August to October, have the following characteristics:
- are in capsule fruits
- reddish brown to dark brown or black brown in color
- bean-shaped or oval
- 1 to 2 cm tall
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Castor oil - a proven laxative
The oil contained in the seeds of the castor is a tried and tested medicine. The castor oil is obtained by pressing the seeds. It is yellowish in color and free of toxins due to the manufacturing process.
The taste of the oil is mild, but burning and unpleasant. That's how it should be. This tells the body that one should not ingest large amounts of the oil.
After taking a small dose of castor oil, bowel movements occur after 2 to 4 hours. The oil also has a dehydrating effect. The effect as a laxative is known in many countries.
A protein that can lead to death
However, we strongly advise against consuming the bare seeds! The seeds are highly toxic! The seed coat contains an active ingredient called ricin. It is a protein. When consumed, it causes the red blood cells to clump and paralyzes the respiratory center. Death can occur within 2 days.
The seeds taste pleasant
The insidious thing about the seeds in particular is that they don't taste unpleasant. They even taste good. You should therefore be particularly careful if you own a castor plant and have children and pets in your household! No antidote is known to date for ricin.
Symptoms of poisoning
On average, 20 seeds are fatal to an adult. For children, depending on their body weight, even 1 seed can be fatal. Symptoms of ricin poisoning include:
- bloody diarrhea
- Kidney pain
- Liver damage to liver failure
- Irritations of the mucous membranes
Harvest and store the seeds
When the seeds ripen in autumn, the triple capsule fruits burst. Then you can harvest the seeds. They should be kept in a safe place if you are going to sow them. These seeds can germinate well for up to three years.
Sow the seeds
Sowing these seeds is very easy. You can do this between January and July:
- Let soak for 1 day
- Sow 1 cm deep
- keep moist
- place in a bright, warm place
- Germination time: 1 to 2 weeks
When you plant or sow the miracle tree, you should definitely wear gloves. Otherwise you could get skin irritation due to the toxins it contains.