The castor is a small annual plant growth as a distinct crop. Castor seeds were important items of commerce in ancient Egypt. Though castor plant or its oil is not a food, but still it is one of the most commonly used oils all over the world.
Castor has been used since ancient times. It is beneficially used as a safe purgative and as a drug for relieving irritation of the skin and alleviating swelling and pain.
A poultice made from castor seeds can be applied externally to gouty and rheumatic swellings with beneficial results. A decoction prepared from the roots of castor plant with carbonate potash has been found very valuable in treatment of lumbago, rheumatism and sciatica.