The castor oil plant has many uses including natural hair growth and eyebrow and eyelash improvement. But it also contains a poison called ricin, as seen in the show Breaking Bad. Extraction of this toxin comes from the castor beans.
The castor oil plant is a common plant found in houses and gardens EVERYWHERE–but little do people know that it currently holds the Guiness Book of World Records title for the world’s most poisonous plant.
Do you know how long you have to survive after ingesting castor seeds?
What is it?
The castor oil plant is a suckering perennial shrub with glossy leaves differing in color from green to a purple or reddish brown tint. Its flowers are carried in spikes up to 15 cm (5.9 in) long, while its fruit is a spiny capsule containing an oval, bean-like seed.
Where is it located?
Castor is indigenous to India, the southeastern Mediterranean Basin, and East Africa, but is widespread throughout tropical regions. It’s also widely grown elsewhere as an ornamental plant.
How will it kill you?
While the oil has many uses in medicine, cosmetics, and even jewelry, its seed is highly poisonous. It produces a highly toxic and deadly chemical known as ricin, which you may have seen in the popular TV show Breaking Bad. Once ingested, symptoms usually begin within 2-4 hours. They include a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, intense abdominal pain, and bloody diarrhea. If left untreated, additional symptoms will occur including severe dehydration, a drop in blood pressure, and a decrease in urine, with eventual death.
How to survive:
While no antidote currently exists for ricin poisoning, supportive medical care must be given immediately in order to get the ricin out of the body as fast as possible. Medical care includes helping victims breathe, giving them intravenous fluids, giving medications to treat their low blood pressure, and flushing their stomachs with activated charcoal.
So how long do you have to survive after ingesting castor seeds?
While the painful symptoms can appear in just a couple of hours, you have 3-6 days to get treated before death will occur.
So would you rather…ingest castor seeds? Or be attacked by an angry hippo?
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