An old fashioned almost cure-all
Written by: Tammy Robinson
If you have ever watched old cartoons or movies, you may have seen more than one reference to castor oil. The scene usually involves someone’s grandmother pushing a huge spoonful of castor oil down a sick person’s throat — with funny faces ensuing due to its horrible taste.
How did castor oil get its start? Does it really do anything for the body? And does it actually taste that terrible?
Let’s take a look at that old-fashioned cure-all.
What Is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is extracted from the seeds, sometimes called “beans,” of castor plants. These seeds are unique in that they contain a fatty acid triglyceride, most of which is ricinoleic acid. Although this type of fatty acid is found in other types of plants, such as cottonseed, it is only found in minute quantities. Castor oil is about 90 percent ricinoleic acid.
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