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Old 04 December 2017, 09:22 PM
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Icon86 70-year-old woman made ricin and tested it on neighbors, police say

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/betty-m...ghbors-police/

Quote:
Betty Miller told an FBI agent that she wanted to "injure herself" and was testing the poison's effectiveness on other residents at the Wake Robin senior living facility, according to a criminal complaint.
Yikes. Castor Bean plants are unusual looking enough to be used as ornamentals, but I'm not sure I'd want them around a population that might have dementia patients, who aren't always particular about what goes in their mouths. This incident, however, is something way beyond accidental ingestion.
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Old 04 December 2017, 10:42 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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Castor oil used to be used as a laxative. Isn't it made from the castor bean?
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Old 04 December 2017, 10:54 PM
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I'm pretty sure that this large bush growing wild outside my house is a castor oil plant:

I already warned my neighbours months ago not to let their kids play with it, and why.


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Originally Posted by RichardM View Post
Castor oil used to be used as a laxative. Isn't it made from the castor bean?
Yep, they heat the oil during the extraction process which denatures the toxic enzyme
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Old 04 December 2017, 10:59 PM
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Castor oil is heated so that any ricin present will decompose and be no longer lethal.
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Old 05 December 2017, 12:35 AM
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I wonder what the quality control on that was like in the Victorian ages, when everyone was dosing constipated kids and impatient pregnant women.
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Old 05 December 2017, 01:12 AM
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Probably about as good for most patent medicines, which caused a whole lot of problems for a whole lot of people. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_medicine

However, everything I've read about Castor Oil seems to indicate that the oil extraction process itself requires heating, and that no ricin is present in the pure oil. Apparently it would be pretty difficult to contaminate the oil with any dangerous level of the ricin toxin. I couldn't find any reliable accounts of castor oil poisoning, contemporary or historical.
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Old 05 December 2017, 02:00 AM
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My mom suggested taking castor oil when I was about a week past my due date. I passed the comment along to my ob, whose response was something along the lines of "let her take castor oil."
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