Castor oil is a popular vegetable oil that is produced by the pressing of castor beans and appears as a colorless or light yellow liquid with a distinct odor and taste with a boiling point of 595 °F (313 °C). The use of castor oil can be traced back to ancient Egypt in 4000 BC, where castor oil was used by doctors to protect eyes from any irritation.
There are several features of castor oil which have led to its popularity, including high viscosity, good thermal conductivity, high density, and high pour point. Applications for castor oil and its derivatives include use in the manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, paints, hydraulic and brake fluid, dyes, inks, coatings, waxes, polishes, cold resistant plastics, nylons, perfumes, and pharmaceuticals. In cases of ingestion, castor oil has been found to have a laxative effect.
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