Castor Bean Seed

Although all parts of the castor bean are actually poisonous, it is the seeds that are the most highly toxic. The toxins found within the castor bean are ricin, and Ricinus communisagglutinin, or RCA. Ricin is a strong cytotoxin, meaning that it targets the cells of a particular organ, while RCA is a member of the hemagglutinin class, a toxin that is targeted specifically at red blood cells. If any part of the castor bean is ingested, symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting will occur within hours. In addition, severe dehydration, decrease in urination, as well as a drop in blood pressure tend to occur over a period of days. Death is often possible in the absence of appropriate medical intervention.

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