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Castor oil plant seed poisoning

Yasemin Küçükugurluoglu, Serap Karasalihoglu, Ülfet Vatansever, Betül Biner, Betül Acunaş, Özer Pala

CaseRepClinPractRev 2005; 6:55-57

ID: 16412

Available online: 2005-01-02

Published: 2005-01-02

Background: The castor oil plant (Ricinus communis) is a large-leafed perennial bush, 3–4 meters high, which is native to tropical Africa and common in warm climates. Although all parts of this plant are
poisonous, its seeds are the most toxic part. Symptoms of intoxication include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, acute renal failure, circulatory collapse, hemolysis, hypoglycemia and also allergy and
anaphylaxis. Mortality mostly occurs due to hypovolemic shock. All symptomatic patients should be treated.
Case Report: Here, we report one symptomatic and two mild symptomatic cases poisoned with castor oil seeds. The first of three cases was an 11-year-old boy who presented dehydration because of vomiting after ingestion of four unknown seeds that were named as caster oil plant seed later. He was monitored for hemolysis, and delayed cytotoxicity for three days after intoxication. He had no
complications, and was discharged from the hospital in good condition. The second and third cases had no sign of intoxication except vomiting. After being monitored for four hours in the emergency department, they were discharged.
Conclusion: Castor oil plant is commonly found in our country but the intoxication with their seeds is often under-estimated.

Keywords: Intoxication, Castor oil seeds, ricin