Castor oil is produced from the Castor plant and its bean-like seeds. It is either clear or pale yellow, without odor or taste. This viscositous compound has found effective uses in everything from the manufacturing of soaps and lubricants, hydrolic and brake fluids have castor derivitives, as well as paints, dyes, coatings, ink, plastics, waxes, polishes, nylons, pharmeceudicals, perfumes, and even as an insulator. In addition, it is commonly used as a food additive to enhance flavor and mold of the candy itself.
Throughout the years, this particular agent has found it’s place in a variety of commercial uses. Although harvesting the natural resources to produce It is dangerous, the FDA has granted its use in a wide variety of everyday household needs, as well as many clinical remedies, including skin disorders and intestinal problems. Because the molecular mass of Its particles are so small, many scientists are racing to test the effects of this small, yet significant, seed in the fight against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
The seed has been used in engines as a lubricant and a sealant as far back as World War One, when virtually all allied rotary aircraft depended on It for smooth operation. As a lubricant, It is a viably attractive alternative to petroleum-based motor oils for it’s durability in cold and warm temperatures; moreso of any other vegetable oil. As a lubricant, It has been successfully used in jet, diesel, and race car engines. In Etheopia, extensive research is still being performed to enhance Its durability as a biodiesel fuel, while the American company, Castrol, provides an alternative to enviromentally harmful petroleum-based motor oils.
Now, what is castor oil today? Today’s Castor Oil is a miraculous tool with a wide range of positive, everyday uses. But alas, it has a past of terror in World-War-Two era Italy. Mousellini’s black shirts used It as a deterrant against dissidents, who attempted to speak out against fascist Italy. These perpetrators, who spoke against the autocratic Italian regime were force-fed large quantities of the laxitive oil while being bludgeoned with nightsticks. The resulting loss of bowel control impeded the speedy recovery of these poor victims, who either died as a result or were forever humiliated thereafter. This theme is prominent in cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, as well as modern day political discussions in Italy, referring to heavy-handed politicians as users of the “bludgeon and castor oil.” This aside, “Ricinus communis” is still deemed “Generally Recognized As Safe and Effective”.