Castor oil is a clear, almost colorless or pale yellow-colored viscous oil. It has a slight odor and a taste that is initially bland but afterwards slightly acrid.
- BP: Virgin Castor Oil
- JP: Castor Oil
- PhEur: Castor Oil, Virgin
- USP: Castor Oil
EmCon CO; Lipovol CO; oleum ricini; ricini oleum virginale; ricinoleum; ricinus communis; ricinus oil; tangantangan.
Chemical Name and CAS Registry Number: Castor oil [8001-79-4]
Empirical Formula and Molecular Weight
Castor oil is a triglyceride of fatty acids. The fatty acid composition is approximately ricinoleic acid (87%); oleic acid (7%); linoleic acid (3%); palmitic acid (2%); stearic acid (1%) and trace amounts of dihydroxystearic acid.
Functional Category: Emollient; oleaginous vehicle; solvent.
Applications in Pharmaceutical Formulation or Technology
Castor oil is widely used in cosmetics, food products, and pharmaceutical formulations. In pharmaceutical formulations, castor oil is most commonly used in topical creams and ointments at concentrations of 5–12.5%. However, it is also used in oral tablet and capsule formulations, ophthalmic emulsions, and as a solvent in intramuscular injections. Therapeutically, castor oil has been administered orally for its laxative action, but such use is now obsolete.
Method of Manufacture
Castor oil is the fixed oil obtained by cold-expression of the seeds of Ricinus communis Linne´ (Fam. Euphorbiaceae). No other substances are added to the oil.