Castor Bean Extract Allergy

Ricinus communis (castor bean) is a species of the Euphorbiaceae family. It occurs in the warmer regions of the world. The spiny fruits contain bean-shaped seeds (castor beans) from which castor oil is extracted. This is the most widely used traditional purgative, especially in the eastern world. The raw parts of this plant, especially its beans are highly poisonous.

It is native to eastern and north-eastern Africa and eastern and south-eastern Asia. It is one most important and popularly cultivated crops in countries such as India, Brazil and Thailand.

Nature of Castor Bean Allergens

scientific studies have till now identified the following allergens:

Castor bean protein found in castor bean extracts is one of the most prominent allergens. This allergen is both heat stable and labile.

Both atopic (genetic risk of developing allergic reaction) and non-atopic individuals are found be extremely sensitive to castor bean extract.

Castor bean also contains resin, one of the most toxic substances known till date.

Popular Uses of Castor Oil

Castor bean extract is used popularly in & as

  • Cosmetics
  • Insulation products
  • waterproof lacquers
  • Paints
  • Purgative or laxative
  • Plasticiser in nitrocellulose compositions
  • Glazing, anticking and release agent

Popular Castor Bean Extract Allergic Reaction

The following are the popular manifestations of castor bean extract allergy

  • Long-lasting contact urticaria
  • Type I and type IV allergic reactions

IgE is regulated by CD8 T cells

Diagnosis of Castor Bean Extract Allergy

Skin prick test is quite useful in most of the patients.

Occupational Hazards of Castor been extracts

The following are the risk groups for castor bean allergy:

  • Chemical & lab workers
  • Farming workers
  • Dockers
  • Gardening workers
  • Refinery workers

Non-Immune Reaction of Castor Bean Extract

The non-immune reactions include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Toxic megacolon
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Psychosis associated with the leaf of the castor oil tree

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