The history of castor oil and its therapeutic and medicinal uses date back to the ancient Egyptian era. Extracted from castor beans (Ricinus communis), castor oil was very commonly used as an oral laxative to cure severe constipation. However, as the consumption of this oil often leads to nausea and other side effects, its use has now been restricted only to topical application.
In any case, the use of this oil must be done only under the supervision of experienced health professional. Originally, castor oil comes from the Indian subcontinent. In fact, it has many Sanskrit names in India, which vary from one state to another. Its most common and oldest name in regional language is ‘Eranda’.
Castor beans from which this oil is extracted come in a wide range of varieties, each variety being a different species altogether. The castor trees are most commonly found in tropical and Mediterranean areas, especially the warmer areas of India. In tropical climate, these trees can even grow up to an enormous height of 30 ft-40 ft. The Mediterranean regions of the world, where castor beans are grown very commonly, include countries like Egypt, Riviera, Greece, and Algeria. Castor trees, which grown only up to a height of 4 ft -5 ft are used for ornamental purposes in many European countries like France.
Thus, although castor is an Indian native, it is grown and used worldwide in all the major Mediterranean, Azores, and tropical regions. Castor oil, extracted from well-processed seeds of this plant, is, thus, more commonly found in these countries.
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