This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
A fixed oil expressed from the seed of Ricinus communis.
Properties : Castor oil occurs as a pale yellowish or almost colorless viscid liquid, having a faint, mild odor and a bland afterward slightly acrid and generally offensive taste. It is practically insoluble in water, but freely soluble in alcohol.
Action and Uses: Castor oil is used as a cathartic, irritating both the small and the large intestine, and locally, particularly in the eye, as a demulcent.
Dosage: 16 c.c. or 4 fluidrams.
Castor oil may be administered in the form of emulsion, Emulsum Olei Ricini, N. F., a 331/3 per cent, emulsion, or it may be given after wetting the mouth with some hot liquid and giving the oil floating in the liquid. For this purpose milk or tea may be used. Preparations are on the market in which the taste is largely concealed by the addition of saccharin and essential oils, the castor oil itself being made more limpid by the addition of alcohol. Suspended in soda water it is easily given to children.