Probably everyone at one time in their life has had the rather unpleasant experience of taking castor oil. Attempting to disguise the disagreeable taste with peppermint or fruit juice often results in a permanent dislike for the flavor enhancer as well as the castor oil. Although it is native to the Ethiopian region of tropical east Africa, the castor bean or castor plant (Ricinus communis) has become naturalized in tropical and warm temperate regions throughout the world. Castor plants are very common on open newly developed, and overgrazed land, and just about any hot area where the soil is well drained and with sufficient nutrients and moisture to sustain the vigorous growth.  

Although the seeds or beans are extremely poisonous, they are the source of numerous economically important products and are one of earliest commercial products. Castor beans have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs dating back to 4000 B.C., and the oil was used thousands of years ago in wick lamps for lighting. To many people the castor plant is just an overgrown, undesirable weed, and yet it produces one of nature's finest natural oils.
Click here for more Antigua Flora.

Special thanks to the late Desmond Nicholson of the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda and Peter Duce for making this section of Antigua Nice Ltd possible!



connect with