|Barbados nut Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Jatropha curcas|
|Origin||American tropics, most likely Mexico and Central America|
|Colors||Green when young ripening to dark brown|
|Shapes||Broadly ellipsoid capsule 2.5–3 cm × c. 2 cm, smooth-skinned|
|Taste||Sweet, acrid, bitter|
|Health benefits||Ear Infection, Cervical Cancer, Treat Face Muscle Paralyze,Eases Baby Delivery, Gassy Stomach Healing, Ease the Pain, Treat Sprue, Vaginal Discharge Therapy, Men Vitality, Inflammation Reliever, Cure Skin Problems, Fever Healing, Smooth Defecation, Cure Rheumatic, Cure Skin’s Blister and Scratch|
In parts of Africa and areas in Asia such as India it is often known as “castor oil plant” or “hedge castor oil plant”, but it is not the same as the usual castor oil plant, Ricinus communis (they are in the same family but different subfamilies). It is particularly valued as a medicinal crop, living fence and hedge. Physic nut oil is not suitable for human consumption.
Barbados nut is a monoecious, deciduous or evergreen, succulent shrub or small tree that grows about 2-5 m tall. The plant is found growing in grassland-savannah, thorn forest scrub and caatingas, disturbed sites, pastures, open woodlands, waste areas, abandoned gardens, and along roadsides. It grows on well-drained soils with good aeration and is well-adapted to marginal soils with low nutrient content, including saline or sodic and alkaline soils. The Plant has short tap root, robust laterals and many fine tertiary roots. Stem is woody, erect, cylindrical, solid and branched. Barks are smooth, grey or reddish, shiny, peeling off in papery scales. Branches are glaucous-gray, glabrous, sparsely lenticellate, and pith larger.
The leaves are alternately arranged along the stems and borne on stalks (i.e. petioles) 6-14 cm long. They are relatively large about 10-19 cm long and 5-15 cm wide and smooth and shiny in appearance. These leaves have heart-shaped (i.e. cordate) bases and three or five shallow lobes with rounded or pointed tips i.e. obtuse to acute apices. Venation is multi-costate, reticulate and divergent type.
Flowers and Fruit
The pale yellow to greenish colored flowers is small and inconspicuous. They are borne in loose clusters on short stalks (i.e. peduncles) in the forks (i.e. axils) of the upper leaves or at the tips of the branches (i.e. in terminal or axillary panicles). Flowering occurs throughout the year, but is most abundant during the wet season.
Fertilize flower is followed by broadly ellipsoid capsule 2.5–3 cm long and 2 cm wide, smooth-skinned. Fruit is a fleshy capsule that is initially green in color, but turns yellow and then dark brown as it matures. These fruit usually contain three large seeds. The smooth textured seeds are 17-20 mm long) and are mostly brown or black in color, with some fine yellow stripes. They are hard and slightly bean-shaped.
Health benefits of Barbados nut
Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of using Barbados nut
1. Cure Skin’s Blister and Scratch
Scares like blister and scratch on the surface of your beautiful skin would be better not to be left since it can trigger into ulcers which might have been worse. Leaves of Barbados nut are the best natural and free side effect to stop the bleeding and fasten the dried process of the skin scare.
2. Cure Rheumatic
One of the diseases caused by lack of body exercise or work out is rheumatic. Rheumatic is a condition where your joints loss their flexure due to the lubricant decrease. When you rarely do the body activities, your body will automatically lose its flexibility and lubricant level which enable you to be free of joint paint. Rheumatic is really painful so that many people get suffered from it will do everything to cure it.
Literally, you don’t need to use much medicine to cure the disease since Barbados nut’s leaves are the best natural nature gift from God to cure rheumatic. It is rich of flavonoid, anti-oxide, protein, calcium, and potassium which are really helpful to cure the illness. You may stew the leaves and eat as your daily menu or boil the leaves with cups of water and drink the herbs drink regularly. See the difference in couple of weeks!
3. Smooth Defecation
Leaves of the Barbados nut helps to smoothen the defecation process. When you have constipation, then you can consume leaves of Barbados nut as the solution for your problem. It goes naturally; stimulate your digestion system to smooth the excretion process. Consuming Barbados nut leaves raw will be much better and fast give the impact to cure your constipation.
4. Heals Fever
Barbados nut leaves helps to cure the fever, mostly for the children. Children might get worse risk of suffering from fever since they have such unstable yet quite low immunity system. Fever has rich of natural anti-oxide and cold sensation to cure the fever without giving any side effects. Simply put the slices of Barbados nut leaves on your children’s forehead and leave them for a while.
5. Cure Skin Problems
Skin might be the most risk of getting disorder since it functions as the body cover to protect the organs. Skin always gets contacted to various dust, particles, bacteria, and so on. Therefore, skin often gets many disorders like inflammation, phlegm, and ringworm due to some bacteria and strange materials exposure. Use jatropha leaves to cure these conditions by attaching them on the surface of the skin area which exposure by the illness regularly until the sup is dried.
Inflammation does not only happen to the bones and muscle only but also on teeth and gum. Basically, inflammation appears in where the blood veins are located. Teeth and gum inflammation are very painful and annoying. You cannot barely eat and even talk. Rather than consuming any generic medicine, try to consume Barbados nut leaves. It will work even faster and safer. You can make a herb drink or just simply stew it and chew like eating salad.
7. Men Vitality
For men who have less confident with their penis size, it is strongly recommended to apply Barbados nut leaves extract or herbs drink to be a natural compound to bigger the penis. Moreover, leaves contain much vitamins and oxygen level which are good for the blood circulation around the penis organ to make it looks bigger and healthier. Drink regularly for minimum once in a week to get the best result of it.
8. Vaginal Discharge Therapy
Vaginal discharge is quite often the serious problem for women reproductive system which needs to be paid more attention. Regrettably, there are many who still take less care of maintaining their reproduction system, including therapy the vaginal discharge.
Maintaining the reproduction system health is very essential, one of the steps is by drinking jatropha leaves extract to cure or prevent vaginal discharge. The natural essence of jatropha leaves will prevent the vaginal discharge and maintain the health better.
9. Treat Sprue
Having a bad sprue which is really painful and annoyed? Cannot eat as usual peacefully due to the sprue? You might crucially need to try to consume the jatropha leaves’ sap. Jatropha leaves’ saps are very powerful to treat the sprue around your mouth. The saps will be absorbed and reduce the inflammation due to the bacteria attack. You will get more benefit of mouth healthy with fresh and clean breath sensation.
10. Ease the Pain
Pain which is caused by rheumatic or any others diseases related to the joints can be relieved by consuming more jatropha leaves. It can be either in form of herbs drink or slices extract. Natural pain reliever inside the leaves will make the pain goes away.
11. Heals Gassy Stomach
Since ages, jatropha leaves have been used for curing gassy stomach. Traditionally, they will bake some pieces of jatropha leaves on the surface of the flame in order to make them a bit withered. Then, they will add coconut oil in less quantity and attach it on the stomach. Magic works by couple hours later the gassy will just go away.
12. Eases Baby Delivery
Since decades ago, people, mostly the East has been believed that jatropha leaves can help to ease the baby delivering process for mother. Despite no scientific research has proven it, but the rumor has spread out load and surprisingly, worked for some who experience it.
13. Treat Face Muscle Paralyze
You might be a bit curious and wonder; is there any disease of having face muscle paralyzed? It is true. There are some conditions which might trigger your beautiful face to be paralyzed and the muscle loss the flexure. Regularly attach the jatropha leaves on the face to prevent the muscle paralyze since its rich anti-oxide will encourage the blood circulation better.
14. Cervical Cancer
This is probably the most haunted disease yet dreadful for women over the globe. Cervical cancer is really terrible and once you get suffered from it, your life won’t be the same anymore. As women, it is essential to maintain the health of the reproduction system by routinely consuming boiled jatropha leaves herbs.
The dimethyl sulfoxide inside the leaves will efficiently maintain your genital and prevent from such dangerous viruses and bacteria. Thus, that’s the benefits of Jatropha leaves for health.
15. Treat Ear Infection
Ear infection can’t be just left it since it will bring you to the worse condition time by time. Ear infection can be caused by multiple problems such as bacteria or viruses due to the less caring of ear maintaining, injury, strange materials input and so on.
Disease should be cured immediately since the ear has very essential function for the body. If your ear is paining and has the inflammation, kindly drop 6 up to 8 jatropha leaves essence into your ears as one of the traditional alternative method to cure the disease. Do it regularly for days until the inflammation will be recovered totally.
Traditional uses and benefits of Barbados Nut
- Bark juice is used for treating malarial fevers and reducing swellings caused by inflammation.
- It can be applied externally as treatment for burns, scabies, eczema, or ringworm.
- Bark paste is applied to gums to cure gum sore and swellings.
- In Nepal, thin twigs are used as toothbrushes to treat toothache, and bleeding and swollen gums.
- Leaves can be used to treat a wide range of medicinal conditions such as coughs, convulsions, jaundice, fevers, rheumatic pains, guinea worm sores, wounds and cuts, sores, etc.
- Seeds can be used as a purgative but only in small doses.
- Oil obtained from the seeds is used in the treatment of skin diseases and rheumatic pains.
- It also stimulates hair growth.
- Root bark is used for sores, dysentery, and jaundice.
- Latex has antibiotic properties against Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogens.
- It also has coagulating effects on blood plasma.
- Methanol extract of the leaves afforded moderate protection for cultured human lympho-blastoid cells against the cytopathic effects of the human immunodeficiency virus.
- Juice of the bark is used in the treatment of malarial fevers, and is also useful in reducing swellings caused by inflammation.
- Juice is also applied externally to treat burns, scabies, eczema and ringworm.
- Fresh bark is cut into small pieces and chewed or kept in the mouth for 1 – 2 hours in order to treat pyorrhea.
- Paste of the bark is applied to the gums to treat wounds and swellings of the gums.
- Leaf infusion is used as a diuretic, for bathing, to treat coughs, and as an enema in treating convulsions and fits.
- Leaves are also used to treat jaundice, fevers, rheumatic pains, guinea worm sores and poor development of the fetus in pregnant women.
- Ashes from the burnt leaves are applied by rectal injection for treating hemorrhoids in Ghana.
- Juice of the leaves or the latex, is applied directly to wounds and cuts as a styptic and astringent to clean teeth, gums, and to treat sores on the tongue and in the mouth.
- It is also considered useful for treating decayed teeth.
- Seeds resemble groundnuts in flavor, and 15 – 20 seeds will cause griping, purging and vomiting for 30 minutes.
- It is reported from Gabon that 1 – 2 roasted seeds are sufficient to act as a purgative; larger doses may be dangerous.
- Seeds have been replaced for castor oil and are sometimes called ‘larger castor oil’.
- Seeds are also used in the treatment of syphilis.
- Oil from the seeds, known as ‘curcas’’ is a powerful purgative and emetic.
- Oil is extensively used for treating skin diseases such as herpes, itches, eczema and boils; and also to soothe pain such as that caused by rheumatism; it is an ingredient in the oily extract, known in Hausa as ‘kufi’, which is a rubefacient for rheumatism and for parasitic skin conditions.
- Oil is used to stimulate hair growth.
- It is warmed and used to dress burns.
- Cotyledons are used to treat constipation and as an appetizer.
- Root bark is used to relieve the spasms of infantile tetanus and is used for sores, dysentery and jaundice.
- Juice of the roots is applied to boils and pimples.
- Juice of the flowers has numerous medicinal qualities.
- In Ivory Coast grilled leaves are crushed together with saliva and the paste is applied to abscesses and wounds.
- Few drops of diluted water solution of twig sap are given by mouth to new-born babies affected by tetanus.
- Colombians and Costa Ricans apply the latex to burns, hemorrhoids, ringworm, and ulcers.
- Venezuelans take the root decoction for dysentery.
- Seeds are used also for dropsy, gout, paralysis, and skin ailments.
Leaves and other parts of the plant are used for the treatment of various diseases. Members of rural communities of Churu district in the Thar Desert, India, used the juice from leaves to cure diseases such as dysentery and colic. Leaves were also applied to the breast to promote lactation. In Southeast Asia and in some regions of Africa, the leaves are used as purgative, while in the Philippines and Cambodia the leaves are applied to wounds. In Cape Verde and Cameroon, a decoction is used internally and externally against fever. In Cameroon, the leaves are also in use as the remedy against rheumatism and in Nigeria against jaundice. In Mali, the leaves are used as treatment for malaria. The leaves are utilized widely in West Africa ethno medical practice in different forms to cure various ailments like fever, mouth infections, jaundice, guinea worm sores and joint rheumatism.
Stem bark, branches and twigs
Barbados nut is used in herbal cure remedies. The biological activities of tannins had been observed to have anticancer activity and can be used in cancer prevention, thus suggesting that J. curcas has the potential as a source of important bio-active molecules for the treatment and prevention of cancer. Presence of tannins in stem bark supports the traditional medicinal use of this plant in the treatment of different ailments. Members of rural communities of Churu district in the Thar Desert, India used the twigs of this plant as tooth brushes to strengthen the gum and to cure gum boils. Extraction of J. curcas branches using water as solvent inhibited strongly the HIV-induced cytopathic effects with cytotoxicity.
Folklore uses of Barbados nut latex are to cure toothache, as a mouth rinse to treat bleeding gums, as a haemostatic, wound dressing and many others. Latex consists of tannin, saponin, wax and resin. Proteolytic enzyme, curcain, can be obtained from the latex by alcohol and acetone precipitation and has been reported to have wound healing activity in mice. In tropical Africa and Southeast Asia, the latex is said to effectively treat scabies, eczema and ringworm. Furthermore, it is used as a mouth rinse to treat bleeding gums and to sooth a baby’s inflamed tongue. In The Philippines and Indonesia, a little latex on absorbent cotton is used to cure a toothache.
Fruits and seeds
Seeds of Barbados nut have good potentials as a fuel substitution. However, the seeds are toxic to human and animals. In Egypt, the seed is used for the treatment of arthritis, gout and jaundice. The seed of this plant has also been used traditionally for the treatment of many ailments including burns, convulsions, fever and inflammation. Seed oil can be applied to treat eczema and skin diseases and to sooth rheumatic pain. Oil is also used externally for the treatment of sciatica, dropsy and paralysis. The oil has a strong purgative action and also is widely used for skin diseases and to sooth pain such as pain caused by rheumatism. Also, seed oil can be a remedy against syphilis. In South Sudan, seeds as well as the fruits are used as a contraceptive or as abortifacient.
Barbados nut roots are used for treating eczema, scabies, ringworm and gonorrhea where these diseases are caused by fungi and bacterial infections. Roots of this plant are applied locally in paste form after crushing, for the treatment of inflammation by Bhil tribes from Rajasthan area in India on empirical basis. The roots can also be used in decoction as a mouthwash for bleeding gums and toothache.
Medicinal uses from different parts of Barbados nut
|Plant Part||Therapeutic indications||Plant parts and form of Remedy|
|Treatment of vaginal bleeding Prepare an infusion from the leaves||Prepare an infusion from the leaves|
|Wound healing||Leaves applied to wounds|
|Fever||Decoction is used internally and externally|
|Rheumatism||Leaf decoction is applied externally|
|Jaundice||Application of the leaves|
|Lymphocytic leukemia||Ethanolic extract defatted leaves and twigs|
|Anti-parasitic activity||Sap and crushed leaves|
|Malaria||Application of the leaves|
|Mouth Infections, guinea worm sores||Application of the leaves|
|Promotes lactation||Crushed leaves applied to the breast|
|Dysentery and Colic||Juice of the leaves is used|
Stem barks, branches, twigs
|Gumboils and strengthen the gums||Twigs are used as toothbrush|
|Inhibits HIV induces cytopathic effects with low cytotoxicity||Water extract of the branches|
|Strong antimicrobial agents||Extract from the branches|
|Aid antimicrobial activities||Secondary metabolites extract from the stem bark exert antimicrobial activities through different mechanisms|
|Gumboils and strengthen the gums||Twigs are used as toothbrush|
|Inhibits HIV induces cytopathic effects with low cytotoxicity||Water extract of the branches|
|Treat gum bleeding, toothache, sooth baby’s inflamed tongue||The latex is used as mouth rinse. A little latex on absorbent cotton to cure toothache|
|Wound healing||Applied latex to the wound, protease curcain isolated from the latex responsible to heal wounds|
|Inhibits classical pathway of human complement and proliferation of human T-cells||Curcacycline A isolated from latex|
|Enhanced rotamase activity of cyclophilin B||Curcacycline B isolated from latex|
|Fungal infections in the mouth, wasp and bee stings and digestive troubles in children||Application of latex|
|Procoagulant and anticoagulant activities of blood||Latex of Jatropha curcas reducing the clotting time of human blood|
|Anti-inflammation||Massaging the latex to the traumatic area|
|Exhibited antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus||Application of latex|
Fruits and Seeds
|Arthritis, gout and jaundice||Application of the seeds|
|Burns, convulsions, fever and inflammation||Application of the seeds|
|Eczema, skin diseases, to sooth rheumatic pain and purgative action||Application of the seed oil|
|Sciatica, dropsy and paralysis||Application of the seed oil|
|Pregnancy-terminating effects in rats, contraceptive, abortifacient and syphilis||Application of seed oil and the fruits|
|Eczema, scabies, ringworm and gonorrhea||The root is used as decoction|
|Antimicrobial activity||Extracts from roots|
|Sexually transmitted diseases (STD)||The hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol extracts of the roots|
|Anti-helmintic properties||Extraction of yellow oil from the roots|
|Dysentery and diarrhea||A dose of two tablespoons of root suspension with butter milk|
|Dyspepsia and diarrhea||The root is triturated with a little asafetida and given with butter milk|
|Antidiarrheal activity in albino mice||Root extract from this plant|
|Inflammation||Applied locally in paste form after crushing|
|Anti-inflammatory activity in albino mice||Topical application of the root powder in paste form|
|Bleeding gums and toothache||Decoction as a mouthwash|
Ayurvedic Health benefits Barbados nut
- Wounds: Apply fresh latex of Barbados nut o your wounds. It helps to heal them fast.
- Skin Diseases: Use latex of Barbados nut as an ointment over damaged skin.
- Gum Diseases: Use leave decoction of Barbados nut as mouth wash.
- Scabies: Make a leaves decoction of Barbados nut. Wash your infected skin with it.
- Maturant: Grind Barbados nut leaves to make a paste. Apply it over abscess.
- Galactagogue: Heat few leaves of Barbados nut. Tie them in a piece of cloth. Use it as poultice on your breast.
- Purgative: Roast 3-4 Barbados nut seeds. Take them with lukewarm water.
- Insufficient Breast milk: Barbados nut poultice is good to increase milk supply. Heat 3 to 4 Barbados nut leaves. Put on breast and bandage.
- Tender young shoots are consumed cooked and used as a vegetable.
- Young leaves may be safely eaten when steamed or stewed.
- Ashes from the roots and branches are used as cooking salt.
- Cooked nuts are eaten in certain regions of Mexico.
- Plant is also planted for soil-erosion control.
- Ashes from the roots and branches are used as cooking salt.
- Plant is widely cultivated in the tropics as a living fence in fields and settlements.
- It is not browsed by cattle; it can grow without protection; roots quickly from fairly large stems placed direct into the ground; and can be used as a hedge to protect fields.
- The plant makes an excellent hedge.
- The plant is used as a support for vanilla and other climbing crops.
- It has been planted in arid areas for soil-erosion control.
- It is an environmentally safe, cost-effective renewable source of non-conventional energy and a promising substitute for diesel, kerosene and other fuels.
- Physic nut oil was used in engines in Segou, Mali, during World War II.
- Oil burns without smoke and has been used for street lighting near Rio de Janeiro.
- It can also be used for lighting, whilst the cotyledons are used as candles.
- Oil is also used for making candles, soap and as an illuminant.
- Oil is used to prepare varnish after calcination with iron oxides.
- Hardened physic nut oil could be a satisfactory substitute for tallow or hardened rice bran oil.
- In Europe it is used in wool spinning and textile manufacture.
- Along with burnt plantain ashes, oil is used in making hard homemade soap.
- Fruit hulls and seed shells can be used as a fuel.
- Dried seeds dipped into palm oil are used as torches, which will keep alight even in a strong wind.
- Wood was used as fuel, though of poor quality, in Cape Verde.
- Seed press cake cannot be used in animal feed because of its toxic properties, but it is valuable as organic manure due to nitrogen content.
- Tender branches and leaves are used as a green manure for coconut trees.
- All plant parts can be used as a green manure.
- Aqueous extracts of the leaves were effective in controlling Sclerotium spp., an Azolla fungal pathogen.
- Seed oil, extracts of the seeds, and phorbol esters from the oil have all been used to control various pests, often with successful results.
- In Gabon, the seeds, ground and mixed with palm oil, are used to kill rats.
- Oil has purgative properties, but seeds are poisonous; even the remains from pressed seeds can be fatal.
- Leaf juice stains red and marks linen an indelible black.
- Ashes from the roots and branches are used in the dyeing industry, and pounded seeds in tanning in Ghana.
- Viscid juice of the plant, when beaten, foams like soapsuds.
- Children often blow bubbles of it with a joint of bamboo.
- Bark consists of wax composed of a mixture of ‘melissyl alcohol’ and its melissimic acid ester.
- Branches are used as a chewing stick for cleaning the teeth and strengthening the gums.
- All parts of the plant are extremely purgative and poisonous.
- Oil from the seed contains a toxin, curcasin.
- Albumen of the kernel is a poison, toxalbumen cursin, most abundant in the embryo.
- Another poison, a croton resin, occurs in the seeds and causes redness and pustular eruptions of the skin.
- The plant is listed as a fish poison.
- All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested.
- Prolonged and excessive use may cause poisoning, vomiting, Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and weakness.
- Seeds are poisonous, and if ingested, can cause acute abdominal pain and a burning sensation in the throat, followed by vomiting and diarrhea.