Castor

How does Castor work?

Castor seed is used to make castor oil, which is a strong laxative. In pregnancy, castor oil might induce labor by stimulating the uterus.

Are there safety concerns?

Castor oil seems to be safe for most people when used short-term. In some people, castor oil can cause stomach discomfort, cramping, nausea, and faintness. Castor oil might also cause fluid and potassium loss from the body, especially when used for more than a week or in doses more than 15-60 mL per day.

Although castor oil might be safe when used for inducing labor in pregnant women at term, it should not be used without the supervision of a healthcare professional. It is UNSAFE to use in pregnant women who are not at term.

The whole seed is UNSAFE to take by mouth. The outer coating of the castor bean contains a deadly poison. This outer coating can cause nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; abdominal pain; dehydration; shock; blood cell destruction; severe fluid and electrolyte disturbances; liver, kidney, and pancreas damage; and death.

Do not take castor if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have bowel obstruction.
  • You have gallbladder problems.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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