Castor bean plant or erand is a fast-growing large shrub or a small tree. The scientific name for the plant is Ricinus communis. It is a perennial flowering herb belonging to spurge family, which is also known as Euphorbiaceae family. The leaves are large, dark green, and toothed. Leaves of erand have significant nutritional profile including presence of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, minerals, and fat.

Other names of Erand or Ricinus communis are Arandi, African coffee tree, castor oil plant, and Gandharva Hasta.

Erand or Ricinus communis is a native plant of tropical east Africa and Ethiopia. It grows well in warm and temperate areas all over the world, including South and Western U.S., India, Brazil and China. These plants are commonly found near streams and river banks in well- drained and nutritious soil. Beans or seeds of the plant are very poisonous but are of economical importance. Beans have been used from the time of ancient Egyptians i.e. from thousands of years. At many places, it occurs as an undesirable and over grown weed but is cherished because of the finest oil humans get from it. It is one of the oldest plants that have been used for various medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It has been known to induce labour and works as a laxative if given orally.

Seeds provide oil, which is thick and slightly yellow in colour and disagreeable in taste. Seeds are shiny and have a beautiful intricate pattern on them. Seeds resemble a tick and are mostly poisonous. Castor oil activates uterine and intestinal smooth muscles due to the presence of ricinoleic acid.

Castor oil is extracted from the beans or seeds of the castor bean plant. The oldest crop is grown for commercial purpose for their use in personal care products and food additives. The oil is a rich source of acids specially ricinoleic acid (RA) including, ricinoleic, linoleic, oleic, stearic, and linolenic fatty acids.

Castor oil shows significant pharmacological activities such as, anti-arthritic, analgesic, emollient, oxytocic, purgative, antifungal, cathartic and laxative properties.

Benefits of Erand:

  • Reduces Inflammation:¬†It prevents inflammation-related to acute and chronic diseases as seen in rheumatic arthritis and other joint-related disorders, muscles and the rest of the body.
  • Reduces Pain:¬†Erand oil is effective in reducing general body pain as well as severe pain related to diseases such as arthritis.
  • Effective in Rheumatoid Arthritis:¬†Erand prevents the onset and progression of rheumatism and other joint and bone disorders in body due to the presence of the components such as ricinoleic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid in Ricinus communis.
  • Effective Laxative:¬†It is a good laxative and reduces constipation when taken orally. Major site of action is the¬†small intestine¬†where it breaks down into¬†ricinoleic acid.
  • Was Used as Natural Contraceptive:¬†Erand was earlier used as a natural contraceptive and in birth control. It was also used to naturally stimulate and induce labour.
  • Promotes Digestive Health:¬†Castor bean prevents gut problems and promotes healthy intestine.
  • Prevent Infections:¬†Castor oil is effective in preventing recurrent infections such as sore throat and ulcers.
  • Regularizes Menstruation:¬†Erand oil helps to prevent and treat obstructive, delayed and painful menstruation. It can relieve and treat delayed, painful, or obstructed menstruation.
  • Improves Blood Circulation:¬†It improves blood circulation to the affected area and reduces pain and inflammation.
  • May be Used Before Colonoscopy:¬†Oil is sometimes given before colonoscopy diagnosis for the preparation of bowel. Oil is excellent cleanser, nourishment-provider and detoxifier.
  • Cosmetic Uses:¬†It is also used in soaps, paints, dyes, polishes, lubricant, food additives, candy, flavoring agent, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

Erand is used in natural and herbal formulations of oils that reduce pain. Arthrogold oil is a generously effectively formulation.

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