Amir Khan*,Manisha Sanwal
*Dept. of Biotechnology & Biochemistry
Sardar Bhagwan Singh Post Graduate Institute of Biomedical Sciences & Research, Dehradun, India
The castor oil plant Ricinus communis is a member of the family Euphorbiaceae. This plant is a member of the genus Ricinus which is traditionally called as castor bean. Castor seed is the source of castor oil, which has a number of uses. Castor oil is a viscous, pale yellow, non volatile and non drying oil with a bland taste. It has good shelf life as compared to other vegetable oils. The seeds contain 40 to 60% oil that is rich in triglycerides mainly ricinolein a toxic alkaloid ricinine and very toxic albumen called ricin. The seed coat contains ricin, a poison which is present in lower concentrations throughout the plant. Riccinus communis has not only medicinal value but it also has great promises in the field of biodiesel production. It is inexpensive and environment friendly. There are different varieties of castor oil bean and on the average they contain 46-55% oil by weight.
Antioxidant activity: The DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2- picrylhydrazyl)-mediated in vitro study reveals that gallic acid, quercetin, gentisic acid, rutin, epicatechin and ellagic acid are the major phenolic compounds responsible for the antioxidant activity of the dry leaves of Ricinus communis Linn.
Antitumour activity: Ricin A, a lectin isolated from R. communis possess antitumor activity, it was more toxic to tumor cells than to nontransformed cells, judged from the ED50 of the lectin towards tumor cells and non-transformed cells.
Bone Regeneration Activity: Ricinus communis polyurethane (RCP) has been studied for its biocompatibility and its ability to stimulate bone regeneration. Results showed that RCP blended with calcium carbonate or calcium phosphate could promote matrix mineralization and are biocompatible materials. Incorporating alkaline phosphatase to RCP with subsequent incubation in Synthetic body fluid could improve the biological properties of RCP. The advantage seen in RCP as compared to demineralized bone is that the former has a slower reabsorption process.
Anti-Implantation activity: The ether solubleportion of the methanol extract of Ricinuscommunis var. minor possesses anti-implantation,anticonceptive and estrogenic activity in adult female rats and rabbits when administere subcutaneously at a dose upto 1.2g/kg and600mg/kg respectively in divided doses.
Antiasthmatic activity: The ethanol extract ofR.communis roots possess antiasthmatic activity, it significantly decreases milk induced leucocytosis and eosinophilia and protect degranulations of mast cells in mice.
Antinociceptive activity: The methanol extract ofR. communis leaves possesses antinociceptive activity in writhing test, formalin induced paw licking and tail immersion method in mice.
Ricinus communis is native plant of India. It has various pharmacologicalactions some of them are reported above but the phytochemical responsible for it is not yet recognized. It contain chemical constitutions like Ricin A, B and C which have antitumor action, it also have alkaloid (ricinine) and glycoside which may be use full for various herbal formulation as anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, cardiac tonic and antiasthamatic etc. So it may be concluded that R. communis is a very important indigenous medicinal plant which required more exploration to utilize its medicinal property.