Jatropha curcus or Ratanjot is native to Central and South America, Caribbean and Mexico, and is found in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world including India, Africa and South East Asia. It is a small tree or an evergreen shrub and mostly grows in deserts. It possesses a very poisonous natural chemical known as a phorbol ester.
The plant has pale green to green leaves and small yellow flowers. A large capsule contains seeds and the capsule turns from green colour to brown when it matures. The plant is also widely found in tropical areas of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Common names of ratanjot are Physic Nut, Barbados Nut, Poison Nut, Purging Nut, and bubble bush, Jamalghota, Bagbherenda and Jangali Arandi.
Ratanjot contains compounds such as, terpenes, saponins, trypsin inhibitors, curcin and phytate. Di-terpenoids contain significant medicinal activity. Flavonoids, phenols and saponins show anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities.
The seeds of ratanjot yield 30-40 percent oils. The oil contains more part of saturated fatty acids and less of unsaturated fatty acids.
The seeds also contain other natural compounds, such as glucose, galactose, raffinose, fructose, crude proteins, arachidic, palmitic, myristic acid, linoleic and oleic acid.
The plant owns many prominent biological and medicinal activities such as, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-neoplastic, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective, and anti-hypertensive activities.
Benefits of Ratanjot or Jatropha curcus
Improves Hair Health: Ratanjot provides valuable hair growth oil, which also works as a conditioner and prevents premature greying of hair if used on a regular basis. The oil stimulates hair growth.
Treats Fever: Roots of ratanjot plant are helpful in the treatment and of bites and stings. They work as analgesic and anti-pyretic natural agents i.e. they reduce pain and fever.
Treats Constipation: The seeds of ratanjot are powerful purgatives. Even 15 to 20 seeds may induce vomiting and loose motions within half an hour of their consumption. Therefore, they are mainly use to treat constipation.
Relieves Skin Ailments: Roots of the plant can be applied on the skin for various skin ailments, like itch, herpes, boils, scabies, ringworm and eczema.
Improves Oral Health: Bark and the leaves are useful for providing relief in swollen gum and tooth ache.
Helps in Acute and Chronic Diseases: Root bark of the plant is a useful remedy to relieve the spasms associated with infantile tetanus. It is also helpful in sores, jaundice, fever, rheumatic pain, malaria, fever, oedema and dysentery.
- Acts as Diuretic: Infusion made from leaves can be used as a diuretic i.e. it can promote production of urine.
Ratanjot is also used for other purposes in daily life. It is a valuable source of natural fuel. Young shoots are used as a vegetable in some part of the world. Bark is used as a chewing stick to clean the gums and teeth. The plant is used to illuminate the lamps in the remote areas and villages. Tannins present in its bark gives dark blue natural dye. It is also used to control the pest and as a fish poison.
Therapeutic properties of ratanjot are responsible for its presence in Tressgrow Oil and Tressgrow Combo.