The word “castor” is more commonly known as purgative. Unknown to many, castor is seed
from vine that climbs as high as seven meters, and if allowed to the wild, can be a little tree.
The stems are green or getting yellowish and hollow, as they grow maturer or older. This
flourishes in the East and North Africa, Yemen, North and Middle East. This was cultured in
Egypt as early as 4000 B.C. and was brought to India and China about 618-906 A.D. Here in
the Philippines, it is said that it has been growing even before the coming of the Spaniard, but
has not been given attention because the fruits are small and there was no market for them.
Uses of Castor
Up to the 20th Century, the most-important use of castor was for medicine especially as
purgative. But now, the different parts of its fruit, as well as the whole tree, have many uses in
The coat of the seed yields a substance used:
For planting and water proofing clothes and covers.
For the manufacture of high quality lubricant and oil for motor, asphalt and tiles.
For rubber uses, manufacture of soap, printing ink, dye for cloths and for strengthening
Its dried oil is good dehydrant and resembles tung oil which is used in making paint,
varnish, plastic, rayon, nylon.
Its dydrogenated oil, a variety of castor oil, is used in making floor wax and for gloss,
carbon paper, crayola and candles.
As a kind of nylon thread that is widely used in France and Brazil.
For manufacture of liniments and cosmetics.
Its coat and waste are fertilizer.
Stems are used as animal feed, but only after removing its poisonous resin in the stem.
For the manufacture of paper, wall and fuel.